The FHS building project is expected to cost $2.5 million and add safe classrooms and a safe entrance to the school. | Special to the Enquirer
The FHS building project is expected to cost $2.5 million and add safe classrooms and a safe entrance to the school. | Special to the Enquirer

Archived Story

$2.5M FHS renovation to include safe rooms, better security

Published 1:25pm Monday, June 9, 2014

Joy Harris

Hartselle Enquirer

The Morgan County Board of Education intends to make an estimated $2.5 million worth of improvements to Falkville High School, according to an owner review meeting with the architect and construction management Thursday at 10 a.m.

FHS is the oldest school building in the system. The newest building on the campus is the middle school, which is at least 10-15 years old, according the principal Glenn Lang.

All but the front entrance and the auditorium of the existing building will be torn down and rebuilt. The front entrance will be reinforced as a safe entrance and renovated. The auditorium will be left untouched to conserve the only auditorium in the school district and one of the oldest parts of the building.

Six classrooms will be completely demolished to be reconstructed and reinforced as safe classrooms. Three classrooms will be built on the east side and three classrooms will be built on the west side. A new front office complex will replace the current office.

The east wing will be reconfigured to connect to the existing science annex, which will cut down the number of exterior doors on the building. This will be an added security feature.

Lang says the improvements are about security and safety for Falkville’s students and community.

“This project is an effort to make Falkville a safer place during bad weather or other times when security is an issue,” Lang said. “We hope to open up the safe rooms to the town of Falkville when needed so both the students and the entire community can benefit.”

This project does not have a definite timeline according to Morgan County’s Superintendent Bill Hopkins.

“We don’t want to cheat this project,” Hopkins said. “We want to be sure we have the time and funding available to dedicate to it, so we will wait until closer to the end of other ongoing projects.”

These other projects include work on Priceville High School, Danville High’s office and administrative building, West Morgan’s classrooms and Brewer High School’s athletic facilities.

Bidding for the project could start as early as October of this year. Construction is expected to take between 10 months and a year to complete. The board hopes for students to be able to use the updated facilities by fall 2015.

Falkville’s faculty and students will have to make alternate arrangements for classroom locations during the construction. Administrators currently have plans to bring in a doublewide trailer to substitute for the displaced classrooms.

Lang said these adjustments are necessary to bring the progress Falkville needs.

“We will just have to make adjustments for the progress to happen,” Lang said. “These adjustments will let the students take pride in the new facility they are getting. This project should be something the students can be proud of and the community can be proud of. It shows Morgan County is interested in all of its students and that no child in Morgan County is being overlooked.”

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