The architectural firm behind the Alexander City Schools construction plans unveiled new renderings of the future Benjamin Russell High School on Thursday, as the school board moves forward with its construction project at the Sportplex.
Rick Lathan and Ryan Vernon of Lathan Architects presented a rough plan and video rendering of the campus at the March meeting of the Alexander City School Board on Thursday, just minutes after participating in a groundbreaking ceremony for the school newly renovated Jim Pearson primary.
“Right now, we’re looking at a timeline of around October 1 to begin the bidding process,” Lathan told attendees at Thursday’s board meeting, including staff at the school and city council members Alexander Buffy Colvin and Scott Hardy.
Last year, Lathan Architects unveiled a lodge-style campusfeaturing an imposing stone entrance, skylights and wooden beams, to be placed on land purchased by the school board near the intersection of U.S. Highway 280 and State Highway 63. The school board has since changed planspurchase of land at the Charles E. Bailey Sportplex from the city for $600,000but according to the architects, the design and overall aesthetic will remain unchanged.
“One of the things that you can see, and you can see in Jim Pearson, is a theme that we started with, and the community drove that theme,” Lathan said, pointing to similar entries in renders of Benjamin Russell and the addition of Jim Pearson. . “We carry that through all of our designs. Even in future designs that we have for other schools, we’re going to bring those ideas in as well, to bring cohesiveness to the design and the community.”
With the design of the building already complete, Lathan said, the next step is a six-month due diligence process, including civil and geotechnical engineering studies, before the school board can begin soliciting construction contracts in October. . Of them bond issues in 2020 and 2022 bring the total project budget to approximately $74 million.