Blue and yellow lockers line the spacious halls in the school, which totals 350,000 square feet and contains 105 instructional units for the various classes offered to students. Each room is equipped with a smart board, projector, new furniture and new electronics. Along with the choral and band rooms equipped with sound barriers to aid acoustics, the new school also has a greenhouse for horticulture, four science labs, an ROTC area and a courtyard where students can gather for lunch or while waiting for bus arrival before and after classes.
The $65 million to 67 million project, paid for with Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds, has allowed the building to be prepared for enrollment growth.
Rick Little, the district's director of Construction and Planning, said the school has a maximum capacity of 2,000, and includes a football stadium to seat 6,000, an auditorium with 1,000 seats, a basketball gym to hold 2,000 and 1,200 parking spaces.
"Every room has energy conservative lighting," Little said. "They have motion sensors to make the school green."
Adding to the building's safety features, doors in the hallways are magnetized to hold them in place, but when the fire alarm is activated, the doors automatically demagnetize as a precaution. For security, there is a 24-hour surveillance system in place, with approximately 250 cameras scattered throughout the school.
The stage in the auditorium utilizes the same floating flooring as the gym, specifically for dance and theatrical productions. "All of the rigging is designed on a cable system, making it easier to access, and there is no catwalk," Little said. "The drama classroom also has a stage and here in the auditorium there are two dressing rooms and a scene storage space."
Concession stands are located outside the auditorium and gym entrances for audience convenience during events.
Originally scheduled to open in August for the 2010-11 school year, contractors encountered sinkholes on the site, delaying the opening. Little contends the problem has been fixed.
"We've pumped grout underground and do not anticipate more problems," he said. "The problem cost around $8 million to fix, but the Builder's Risk insurance policy has already covered $5.2 million of that and we expect more so that the cost will be completely covered."
Another problem encountered during construction occurred just before the Thanksgiving holiday while one worker was placing a guard over the sprinkler system. Although the man was working to avoid a clash between the objects, the system was activated and flooded the gym. Everything has since been cleaned up and repaired.
Turner Construction Company, the contractor for the project, is wrapping up the final stages in preparation for Friday's ceremony and the first day of class Jan. 4. The final move into the facility is scheduled to begin Dec. 18.