By MEGAN WILLIAMS
Daily News-Record 9/21/19
HARRISONBURG — As the architects and designers get closer to a plan for the new high school, commonly referred to as HHS2, the school board is weighing options on how to save money should it come to that.
At a meeting this week, the board heard from the architectural firm designing the new high school with help from input from the community, stakeholders and students.
“We’re developing a menu of sorts,” said Deb Fitzgerald, school board chairwoman. You could also call it a wish list of items under $500,000 that the school board would like to have as part of the new high school, but it wouldn’t be a detriment to the new school not to include them, she said. For example, plans include a canopied walk way from the bus drop-off area to the side door of the school where students would enter.
“It’s low-hanging fruit. Things we would like to have but do we need them? No,” Fitzgerald said. From this “menu” the school board will adjust plans once the final funding numbers are approved by the city. The board is also looking at larger cost saving measures should they become necessary, such as athletic fields. Because the new high school will be close enough to the old high school, the board has considered the feasibility of sharing fields.
Once the architects have the designs for the new school 60 percent complete, the board will begin having more detailed conversations with the architects about specifics such as classroom layout. And they’re getting close to being at that point, Fitzgerald said.
At Tuesday’s meeting, a number of plans were shared with the board including blueprints, diagrams and a fly around drone- like video of what the outside could look like.