New school plans

The Tallassee Board of Education voted unanimously to approve plans for a new, secure but smaller high school at its July 16 meeting.

According to the design team, the current THS main campus building is 44,000 square feet and the new building would be 37,800 square feet but there will be more classrooms, more office space and more seats in the auditorium.

“The new building will be better than the existing building in a lot of ways,” McKee and Associates’ Walter McKee said. “The classrooms will be 100 square feet bigger, it's going to be 21 classrooms, plus at this point we are recommending moving the science labs.”

The new building would house three more classrooms than the current building, administrators will have 50% more office space, the guidance department will be relocated in the new layout and the new auditorium will have a higher capacity, McKee said.

“Currently the auditorium has 450 seats,” McKee said. “The auditorium as we propose has 636 seats in it. The band room will seat 125.”

McKee said students would be without a main campus building for one school year.

Greater campus security will also be provided in the new building after police chief Matt Higgins and fire chief Travis Jones compiled a report critical of safety and security weaknesses in the existing building.

Access to the interior of the campus will be limited with the use of a gate system from the time school begins until it ends.

“Your students would be in a secure campus,” McKee said.

The new school layout includes a covered walkway to the annex making it more accessible to the main buildings.

McKee said the plans are still in the concept phase and changes could arise as progress continues. But if all goes as planned, the main building would be constructed between the end of one school year and the fall of the next year.

A new parking lot is currently under construction.