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Blair Oaks plans for new school year, and new high school

Blair Oaks plans for new school year, and new high school

July 17th, 2019 by Phillip Sitter in Local News

Blair Oaks High School in Wardsville

Blair Oaks R-2's prices for breakfast, lunch and extracurricular events admission will not change for the 2019-20 school year, but there were some recommended changes to the design of the district's new high school presented Tuesday to the Board of Education.

The Architects Alliance's Project Manager Leslie Backstrom said recommended changes to the design of the new high school were made after conversations with students, staff and administrators.

"This was one of the biggest student comments, I think," Backstrom said of the addition of an outdoor dining area adjacent to the school's library.

An added alcove of about 100 lockers for students who would like to use a locker was recommended to be located in the same hallway as an added second stairwell to the mezzanine level of the gym.

The new high school's main hallway is not planned to have any lockers.

Backstrom said the second stairwell to the mezzanine of the gym would help with student traffic flow, as there will be temporary classrooms on the gym's mezzanine.

Other recommended changes to the school's design included having two banks of restrooms, instead of just one — the second being among classrooms, with the first located next to the auditorium, cafeteria and gym as originally planned — having special education classrooms spread throughout the building instead of in a cluster; having a wider main corridor that would be 16 feet wide at the main entrance and 10 feet wide in the classroom area; and having classrooms to accommodate four sections of science and English.

The new high school is planned to have its first phase of construction completed and open to all students in grades 9-12 for the start of the 2021-22 school year.

Among other business, the board set the meal and events admission prices for the 2019-20 school year.

Also, the district's tax rate hearing was set for 6:45 p.m. Aug. 13.

Superintendent Jim Jones said the recommendation would be to set the district's tax rates at the levels that voters approved in April — keep the debt service property tax at $1.21 per $100 of assessed valuation and increase the operating tax levy by 30 cents to $3.05 per $100 of assessed valuation.