Batesburg-Leesville, SC - At the June 12th meeting of the Lexington County School District Three Board of Trustees, Jumper Carter Sease Architects presented preliminary conceptual plans for a renovated B-L Primary School and for a new B-L High School. The company was contracted by the Lexington Three Board of Trustees in January to explore design options for these facilities based on needs that were outlined in 2016 when the district commissioned a study of its buildings. That needs assessment was conducted by retired architect Don Altman who served as a consultant for Thompson Turner Construction Company.
The proposed plans presented at the Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday evening included the following renovations/additions to the existing B-L Primary School facility:
● New media center
● New cafeteria
● New administration area at the front of the school (with a designated space for the school nurse)
● New PE area
● Additional classrooms
● Additional bathrooms
● A redesigned drop-off loop for parents at the front of the school which includes additional paved parking
● A new bus drop-off area behind the school According to Joel Carter, who presented on behalf of Jumper
Carter Sease Architects alongside Lauren Fabin, the proposed renovations for B-L Primary School would allow for the continued use of the new security entrance that was added by the district during the summer of 2017. In addition, the conceptual design also removes the long, covered breezeway that extends from the front of the school. In its place would be a covered walk area that would connect and run parallel to the front of the facility.
The conceptual drawings that were presented for a new B-L High School allow for the proposed facility to be built facing Summerland Avenue in front of the existing B-L High School campus. Initially, Carter said the school would accommodate approximately 600 students; however, the prospective design of the new school would allow for growth up to 800 students.
Highlights of the presented plan included
● An Innovation Studio (This would serve as the school’s media center and a place for student innovation and collaboration.)
● A gymnasium that would allow patrons to enter at the top of the bleachers and funnel down to the court level ● A Hall of Fame lobby outside of the gymnasium
● An auxiliary gymnasium
● A 150-seat lecture hall
● Courtyard area for outdoor dining
● Upgrades to athletic facilities including, but not limited to, the softball area, the Panther football stadium, and the baseball complex
● New student parking lot
● New bus drop-off area
● New parent drop-off area
● New staff/visitor parking
As part of the conceptual plans, the existing Fine Arts Center would be renovated to match the new B-L High School campus and would be updated on the inside with additional dressing rooms and bathrooms. A covered walk area would connect the Fine Arts Center to the main B-L High School building. Carter added that his firm is still brainstorming ideas on how to use the old CATE (Career and Technology Education) building since those classes would move to the main campus.
In addition, the team from Jumper Carter Sease Architects is still working to determine where the District Three Transportation Office and bus parking area would be relocated, as the proposed design makes use of the land where the transportation office and parking area are currently housed. Several Board of Trustee members offered design suggestions to Carter and Fabin during their presentation. Carter noted that these recommendations would be taken into consideration as the firm continues to revise the conceptual plans and prepare three-dimensional renderings of the schools’ exteriors and interiors.
No costs relating to the proposed designs were discussed at the June 12th meeting; however, according to Lexington Three Superintendent Dr. Randall Gary, the scope of the conceptual plans that were presented extends beyond what can be afforded and paid for through general obligation bonds issued by the Board of Trustees’ eight percent borrowing debt capacity. Therefore, Board of Trustee members will be looking into other ways to fund the projects.