Plans for new high school revealed

Tuesday, January 15, 2008 | 9:32 p.m. CST; updated 3:21 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — Plans for the third comprehensive Columbia high school feature a two-story building with core classrooms, resource centers for students, teacher planning centers, commons areas, a competition gym and an auditorium.

Wanda Brown, assistant superintendent of secondary education and member of the High School Steering Committee, said the building itself is planned to be about 300,000 square feet.

“The charge of the committee is to make sure that the learning space of the school maximizes teaching and learning now and in the future,” she said.

Andy Anderson, an architect from the DLR Group in Kansas City, said the school is designed to accommodate an average of 1,800 to 2,000 students once completed. In addition, it will feature career education centers designed to train students in practical career-based skills.

Brown revealed the proposed design plans at the Columbia Public Schools board meeting Monday night.

The building is designed to be constructed in three phases, which have yet to be determined by the High School Steering Committee and DLR Group.

Anderson said that the plan they have now is still being developed. “We’re just in the middle of the design process,” he said. DLR will meet with Brown and the High School Steering Committee on Jan. 24 to discuss the conceptual design plans.

“We (DLR) are the tools to take the ideas from the public and the district and develop those into a high school design that is responsive to the community’s aspiration,” Anderson said, stressing that the design process is intended to be interactive between the district and DLR.

The total projected cost for phase one of the new building is predicted to be $22 million. It’s scheduled to be ready for the summer of 2010, Anderson said.

The building will be on an 80-acre site on St. Charles Road in the northeast part of the school district.

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