BOE hears proposals for new wings at AES, AHS

Published 1:06 am Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Andalusia Board of Education saw conceptual drawings for new buildings on the campuses of Andalusia High School and Andalusia Elementary School presented by four architects Monday night.

The firms of McKee and Associates, Godwin-Jones, Goodwyn Mills & Cawood, and Donofro and Associates each presented their ideas in a marathon meeting that lasted more that three hours.

Last year, the board agreed to move forward with closing Andalusia Middle School and moving sixth grade to the AES campus and seventh and eighth grades to the AHS campus. The decision will require construction on both campuses.

To meet their goal of moving students in the fall of 2014, the board needs to select an architect in August. Construction of the new buildings is expected to take 12 to 14 months.

Three of the four firms – McKee, Godwin-Jones and Goodwyn Mills – proposed removing the current storage facility behind AES and building a sixth-grade wing there. Those plans call for the addition to be “connected” to the existing facility through the gymnasium, and include a multipurpose space that would serve as lunch space, indoor physical education facility, and other special activities. Meals would be carted from the existing kitchen facility.

The fourth proposal, by Donofro, would connect the new building to the existing facility with a walkway out of the back side of the existing kitchen to a multipurpose room where meals would be served.

Proposals for the AHS addition were much more varied. Each proposal placed the addition behind the band practice field, or on the Fourth Avenue side of the campus. Each of the plans routes car and bus traffic to the new facility from Fourth Avenue.

• McKee’s proposal would tie the new facility to the existing one with a walkway to the cafeteria.

• Godwin-Jones’s proposal would “line up” the new building with the main hall of the high school building, with a canopied walk from one to the other. It would also be built to hide the kitchen service area and dumpsters.

• Goodwyn Mills’s proposal was the most unique. The firm proposed a two-story facility that echoes the look of the historic AHS building, including columns. The building would line up with the existing hallway of the main building, and have a multipurpose room that served as a connector to the dining facility.

• Donofro’s proposal would add an L-shaped building with a covered canopy connecting from a multi-purpose room to the existing kitchen. Donofro designed the physical education facility currently under construction on the AHS campus.

Each of the firms has ties to Andalusia. McKee designed AES. The principles in Godwin-Jones formerly worked for McKee and were the lead architect and interior designer for AES. Goodwyn Mills recently completed the renovation of Church Street School, and Donofro is the architect for the new physical education facility currently under construction at AHS.

The architects estimated costs ranging from $90 to $135 per square foot for the new construciton.

Board members agreed to study the proposals further in a workshop meeting on July 9.