The first wave of construction projects for Graham and Crittenden middles schools funded by the $198 million Measure G facilities improvement bond includes new and revamped classrooms and new technology infrastructure updates and new athletic facilities.
Trustees had previously approved a list of priority projects to be pursued at both Crittenden and Graham. At the most recent board meeting, trustees got a look at preliminary floor plans for new classrooms and looked at overhead views of each school to see how the new classes, auditoriums and athletic facilities would be placed on the respective campuses.
The total budget for both projects is $50 million. "Phase I," as the first leg is being called, is set to begin next summer with the installation of new classrooms and music buildings at each school, a new library at Graham, and a new art building at Crittenden. Phase I is expected to cost between $15.5 million and $16 million, according to official estimates.
The new music rooms will feature improved sound-proofing, more private rehearsal space and increased storage space for musical instruments. Crittenden's new and upgraded classrooms will be outfitted with built-in speakers and the ability for teachers to control video presentations via wireless devices.
The new classrooms at Graham will include science labs with an increased number of sinks — one for every four students in the class. The new library will be built with acoustical baffling to keep sound out.
Next up, the project's architects — DLM Architects (Crittenden) and Artik Art & Architecture (Graham) — must finalize their construction drawings and submit them to the Department of State Architecture for approval. Once the DSA signs off on the projects, the district can begin taking bids from construction firms. If all goes according to plan, the winning construction firm — or firms — will break ground in June 2014.
In addition to the Phase I projects, the district still plans to erect new auditoriums at each school and install a new track and field at Crittenden.