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Board eyes plans for middle school

Since the passing of the $47 million school bond referendum, plans for Lincolnton Middle School’s new building are well underway.
Board of Education members have spent time in closed session examining two potential land sites for the new school.
“The site needs to be selected, hopefully by our June board meeting,” said Superintendent Jim Watson. “We want to be moving dirt in September.”
Pinnacle Architecture, the architecture firm hired to build the new Lincolnton Middle School, also seems to be ready to go forward with the project.
“We would like to get moving on this thing as rapidly as possible, as rapidly as the board would like to go,” said Frank Williams of Pinnacle Architecture.
Construction of the building should take around 18 months depending on weather, according to the architects.
School officials hope the new building will be completed by the spring of 2006.
Over the past several months, architects have spent time working with an Interactive Design Team made up of Lincolnton Middle School staff.
The team has already traveled to a school in Wilkes County that their new building will be based on.
“Yours should be better because we’ve got theirs to use as a model,” said Williams.
Architects have held several meetings with the design team to hear what they want in a new building.
“It’s an involved process,” said Ann Anderson, an art teacher. “I think our opinions have been listened to.”
The design team and architects met with the Board of Education Building and Site Committee on Wednesday to go over a layout of the new building.
Members of the design team suggested several changes, but seemed pleased with the plans for their new school.
“Y’all are going to be so happy with this school, you’re not going to know what do,” said Williams.
Williams took school officials on a tour of the building. The school boasts 42 classrooms, not including rooms for exceptional children and research.
The classrooms are 930 square feet, which are larger than those used at the Wilkes County school.
If the school needs to expand later on resource rooms could be converted into classrooms.
The building is also designed so that additions can be built without disturbing students.
The new building will also have a gymnasium that can seat the entire school population, a softball field and a football field with a track circling it.
Those involved in the planning process are still discussing having soccer fields and tennis courts at the school.
The school will have a courtyard at the center of the school. An art room and media center will also be centrally located.
Architects hope the media center will act as the “heartbeat of the school.”
Every classroom in the school will have a computer, and there will also be space made for three computer labs. by Sarah Grano

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