May 13 Work Session: Potential Renovation Plans at Huntington North

Exciting Renovations Planned for Huntington North High School
Posted on 05/21/2024
Viridian Architectural Design President Terry Thornsbury

In a recent public work session held on May 13, the Huntington County Community Schools Board gathered to discuss four subjects, one being ambitious renovation projects aimed at revitalizing Huntington North's library and upgrading essential infrastructure across the school. This significant undertaking promises to modernize the educational environment and enhance overall functionality for students, staff and community members.

Led by President of Viridian Architectural Design Terry Thornsbury and HCCSC Chief Financial Officer Valerie Moore, outlined detailed plans for these transformative initiatives. Terry opened the session by providing a historical context, highlighting the antiquated state of the library, which has seen minimal updates since its addition to the building in 1970. He emphasized the need for a comprehensive overhaul to convert the library into a cutting-edge digital space—a "Digital Café" that could serve as a hub for innovative learning and collaboration.

The library's renovation is estimated to cover approximately 13,000 square feet and could cost upwards of three million dollars. Plans include removing existing walls to create an open, inviting atmosphere, and introducing state-of-the-art technology and furniture conducive to modern educational needs.

Additionally, discussions focused on addressing critical infrastructure issues within the school, particularly concerning ceilings, lighting, and mechanical systems. Terry highlighted the challenges posed by outdated fixtures and ongoing maintenance issues, such as pipe leaks and aging ventilation systems.

The proposed renovations, encompassing ceiling replacements, updated lighting fixtures, and comprehensive piping upgrades, could require a substantial investment of around seven million dollars. However, due to budget constraints, the project's scope may need to be adjusted to align with available funding, estimated at approximately 4.8 million dollars.

Valerie further elaborated on the intricate planning process, emphasizing the need for meticulous coordination to minimize disruption to the school year. The phased approach aims to begin construction during the summer break, with a keen focus on completing major components before students return in the fall. This ambitious timeline underscores the urgency and complexity of the proposed renovations.

Board members actively engaged in discussions regarding project priorities, budget considerations, and potential challenges associated with implementation. Questions were raised regarding the sequencing of renovations and the impact on classroom spaces. Terry emphasized the importance of consistency and efficiency in executing these upgrades to avoid future maintenance issues.

As plans progress, the board anticipates finalizing design proposals in the coming months and proceeding with contractor selection and bidding processes. The overarching goal is to maximize the impact of available funds and deliver transformative improvements that align with the school's long-term vision.

In conclusion, the Huntington County Community Schools Board is poised to embark on a transformative journey that promises to enhance the learning environment for current and future generations. The upcoming renovations represent a significant investment in the school's infrastructure, underscoring the district's commitment to providing a modern, safe, and inspiring educational experience.

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