A $5 million construction project to build six new classrooms, a 14,000-square-foot field house and replace an old cooling and heating system in LaFayette High School's gym is under way.
The Walker County, Ga., Board of Education approved the $5 million budget at its latest meeting, a cost J&J Contractors Inc, proposed as a maximum for the project.
LaFayette High School Principal Mike Culberson said the much-needed renovations scheduled to be finished next summer will allow the classes taught in trailers to be brought inside and allow the school to reorganize to be more easily accessible to teachers, students and parents.
"It's going to be so much better," he said.
J&J Contractors broke ground last week on the new wing, which will attach to the school at one of the building's double doors, extending a 15-foot corridor, said project manager Brent Collier. The crew is allowed to work during school hours as long as they are separate from all school activities.
As for the field house, it will be an eight-room building that will include visitor and home football locker rooms, a large wrestling room and training room, Collier said.
The field house also will have space for the competitive cheerleaders to have their own locker room and allow for female and male weight rooms, Culberson said. Currently, weight room hours are split up to allow boys and girls to work out separately, he said.
When the school's new wing is complete, Culberson said he plans to rearrange subjects into the same hall, such as all the math classes together. With this change, the teachers will be able to collaborate with each other more easily and students can work on projects in the same hall, which is a popular way to lay out a high school, he said.
Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...