Two years of planning and fundraising led to an official start of construction for a new middle school classroom building at Lakeview Academy on Thursday.
R.K. Whitehead, the former chairman of the school’s board, said the construction project is part of a strategic, long-range plan for the college preparatory school.
The 17,000-square-foot, two-story building is expected to be ready for the school in June, and middle school classes will be moved there for the 2017-18 school year.
Jane Hemmer, the current board chairwoman, said the school “is on the verge of a new day, a new dawning, for Lakeview Academy.”
The project will cost an estimated $3 million, and the school has raised about $2.3 million. John Kennedy, headmaster, said the school plans to raise the remainder and pay off the building to avoid having debt.
Whitehead said the board started talking about its long-range plan more than two years ago. “I give Jim Coyle credit, really, for kicking that process off,” Whitehead said. Coyle was board chairman before Whitehead.
Kennedy has said the school was out of classroom space and continued to expand its student body. Enrollment is nearly 600 students.
According to Kennedy, the new academic building meets Lakeview’s current need for additional space while creating space for future enrollment growth.
The building will be behind the main facility, where modular classrooms have been. Those have been moved and will continue to accommodate students until the new building is complete.
The building will have 14 to 16 classrooms, two science labs and a computer lab. It also will have room for learning support and technology/engineering programs.
“We’ve had a need, really for about two to three years, for classrooms,” Kennedy said in August. “The biggest need is in our learning support. We’ve tripled the number of people helping students of all abilities, and they really need a lot of space.”
Carroll Daniel Construction is the construction manager, and the architect is Steven Hill with H. Lloyd Hill Architects and Associates.
Lakeview Academy has 90 acres in its campus. It has classes for 3-year-old kindergarten through 12th grade.