STEM Academy renovation design presented

MARSHALL, Texas – Marshall ISD’s Board of Trustees will take action on a proposed renovation design of Sam Houston Middle School to serve as the district’s new STEM Academy during next Monday’s September regular meeting.

The school board received a report and saw the design for the renovated facility during Thursday’s monthly Agenda Review meeting held in the Pat Smith-Gasperson Board Room. Mr. Andre Brackens, of Huckabee, Inc., the lead architect for the Legacy 2017 building projects, gave the board an overview of the design to create a K-5 STEM Academy at what is currently Sam Houston Middle School.

The project was included in the $109,210,000 bond issue approved by MISD voters in May of 2015. All projects in the building program – which also includes three new K-5 elementary schools and a new junior high school, which are currently under construction – are scheduled to open for the 2017-2018 school year.

The STEM Academy renovation project at Sam Houston will include a new addition to the current building, which will serve as the school’s kindergarten wing. Included in this new wing will be five classrooms, each including a restroom; a teacher workroom; an assistant principal’s office; in-classroom storage space; two faculty restrooms; and custodial and mechanical space.

Renovations to the existing facility will include a commons/collaboration area; a new science lab; renovation of four existing restrooms; addition of a controlled entry vestibule; repurposing of the stage area of the existing cafetorium into two additional classrooms; and realignment of existing fifth grade classrooms. Other areas of the existing facility will receive cosmetic improvements such as new paint and flooring.

The current gymnasium in the facility will be renovated with new heating and air conditioning units, a new rubberized gym floor, and additional insulation.

Outside the building, a new two-lane parent drop off to accommodate up to 50-70 cars at a time will be constructed on the west side of the facility, to ease traffic on East Travis Street during drop-off and pickup times. Additionally, a new faculty/staff parking lot will be constructed on the northwest end of the facility.

The renovation will also include the addition of a playground on the east side of the building, as well as chain link security fencing around the property.

The renovation of Sam Houston Middle School is budgeted at $7,788,023.14. This is an increase in the original budget ($2.5 million), but savings following the actual bidding of other projects allowed for the increase in renovation budget and scope of work for the Sam Houston facility.

The school board will be asked to take action on the proposed design during Monday’s meeting, with bidding on the project expected sometime in November, Brackens said. Work on the new wing could begin as early as December, with the bulk of work in the existing building taking place next summer in order to have the facility ready for use in August of 2017.

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