Design plans get OK for new West Side Elementary

Published on Monday, 16 December 2013 22:13 - Written by KELLY GOOCH

A larger cafeteria, gym and library are among planned features for the new West Side Elementary School, according to Jacksonville ISD.

The district’s public relations coordinator, Marc McCloud, said design plans for the project were unanimously approved by school board members Monday night “with an addendum for minor changes on the driveways.”

Plans for the new West Side building are identical to the current East Side Elementary School, with the exception of two classroom wings instead of three, he said.

Superintendent Dr. Joe Wardell said the new West Side will initially be built to house 530 students, but in the future, the district could add another wing to increase capacity.

Besides classrooms, the campus will include a library, gym and cafeteria, along with an administration area, said Jeff Edwards, with Claycomb Associates, Architects. He said a bus drive and faculty parking area also are planned.

Additionally, he said the school, to be off College Avenue, will have “visual appeal” as people drive by.

The West Side project is part of a $22.8 million bond issue that was approved by voters in November. The bond issue also includes an additional eight classrooms, a new band hall, and converting the current band hall into classroom/storage space at Nichols Intermediate School.

Wardell said the school board hopefully will be able to consider the design plans for Nichols Intermediate next month.

He said a committee will recommend a construction manager at-risk for the bond projects, and the “ambitious goal” is to potentially start construction in May.