The growing Gilbert Unified School District is moving forward with construction of a new elementary school and is giving a facelift to an existing junior high.
At a meeting Tuesday night, governing board members Helen Hollands, Traci Klein and Van Dunham voted 3-0 to approve the conceptual design for remodeling Gilbert Junior High School. They also awarded a contract to Core Construction Services of Arizona to begin building the district’s 28th elementary school, a $7.5 million structure that will accommodate 400 children.
Board president Thad Stump and member Linda Rollans were absent.
Jack Hoffman of ADA Architects gave a presentation on the new master plan for Gilbert Junior High School, which was built in the early 1980s.
Officials are still hashing out the total estimated cost for the remodeling, which includes an expansion of the administration building, upgrades for the library, and a new hallway to improve access.
The locker rooms in the gym will also be modernized. The weight room, now filling classroom space, will be moved into the wrestling room, which also will be remodeled and expanded.
The redesign also features: a modernized kitchen with more space for kids to eat in the cafeteria, a courtyard with an outdoor dining area, upgrades to the music rooms to make them almost soundproof; more storage space; and improvements to the airconditioning system, parking lot and fire protection.
A gate system will be added, so in case of special emergencies, the school can be put under lockdown to ensure students are safe.
“It’s a well thought-out plan and I appreciate it,” Hollands said.
The first phase of the new elementary school, which will be located north of Germann between Lindsay Road and Val Vista Drive, will begin immediately so it will be open in time for fall 2007.
The school will span 47,000 square feet. It will resemble other Gilbert schools, except for its library, which will provide two temporary classrooms until the project’s second phase is completed.
Both projects will be funded through a voter-approved bond.