The Marshall County Board of Education met in the Brindlee Mountain High School gymnasium Wednesday night to discuss the options they have for either rebuilding Brindlee Mountain Primary or adding additional classrooms and keeping it on the campus of Brindlee Mountain High.
Superintendent Cindy Wigley opened the meeting by discussing some of the improvements that the schools have undergone in the past few years, including the addition of 14 full-time school resource officers.
Brindlee Mountain Primary at Union Grove was struck by a tornado in January. The damage has still not been cleaned up.
Not long before the tornado touched down, Brindlee Mountain Primary had undergone some changes. The school had some roofs replaced, the lighting replaced and the sidewalk had been redone.
Supt. Wigley discussed the age of most of the buildings, including the completion of the main campus in 1978, the additional classrooms in 1990 and the gym in 1963.
She went through a time line starting when the tornado touched down in January and going until the submission of the latest paperwork to get started on the cleanup efforts, which took place on March 18.
Consultant Frank Costanza went over the facility analysis, saying he had been through the same ordeal that Brindlee is going through now. He worked for a school system during the 2011 tornado outbreak and his school was destroyed.
He discussed some of the needs the school would be looking at for future growth. The schools are already overcrowded and he mentioned the other campuses in the Marshall County School system have modular classrooms. The expansion of the high school campus or the rebuilding of the new school would include the expansion Brindlee needs.
McKee and Associates project manager Seawell McKee gave an overview of three renderings they showed the public at the meeting. The two options in the Union Grove site included additional classrooms, a lunchroom and the main office area.
In both renderings, the lunch room is slightly larger as well. The reason for the expansion is to house more students and allow them to have lunch closer to actual lunch time versus some students eating at 10 in the morning.
As far as joining the primary with the high school, they would add more classes to the the existing school building in two locations. The first would be more classes and an office area to make it a proper primary school. The second would be moving some support staff into other areas of the building once they are transformed into workable space and adding a few more classrooms as well. In this area, they would add an office as well. This added area would be for grades 6-8.
With this plan, they have room to add on a high school gymnasium. The one currently at the school is considered a middle school gym. A high school gym would have locker rooms for sports, concession stands and other aspects needed to properly house high school teams.
These new classrooms would also have storm safety areas. It is a requirement for new schools to have rooms for storm protection.
Brindlee Mountain was insured for $4.9 million and the new projects range from $5 million for the additions at the high school location to $7 million for the rebuild at the Union Grove location.
There was nothing voted on during this meeting. This was a meeting to get the information to the public. Nothing has been decided, yet.
Read more information on this story in Wednesday's paper including remarks made by concerned citizens and Brindlee's staff.