The Stillwater Public School Board of Education has approved the schematic design and development plans for the new Stillwater High School building.
Construction is scheduled to begin in July 2024 with a primary completion date of June 2026, and the total cost is estimated at $68.6 million.
“On Aug. 29, the board approved our schematic design and gave us approval to move forward with design development,” said Bo Gamble, SPS Assistant Superintendent of Operations. “We also met that day with key user groups and our Design Review Committee and reviewed this schematic design.”
CMSWillowbrook, an Oklahoma City-based construction management company, is managing the construction project. Schematic design construction estimates meet the project budget.
“CMSWillowbrook provided an estimate and we are tracking the budget – exactly on budget for this project – so we are happy with that,” Gamble said.
He said the team is also discussing whether they will have a window of time to get an early start on demolition work and building infrastructure on the site.
“The construction folks… are a little concerned now after the real rainy season that we’ve had, and they’re trying to plan accordingly so we don’t have that on the next project,” Gamble said.
On August 30, the main user groups met to discuss in more detail the details in the educational spaces. These user groups included science, family and consumer sciences, and special education teachers in relation to classroom settings.
“We set out to refine this design to ensure we are developing and creating the most effective spaces needed for students and teachers,” Gamble said.
Upon completion of the Husband Street Bridge, SPS will conduct a traffic study.
The design development process for the new two-story high school is scheduled to be completed in mid-December, Gamble said.
Administrative offices, special education, family and consumer sciences, visual arts and sciences, the student center, kitchen, and gymnasium are located on the first floor. Math, English Language Arts, Media Center, World Languages and Social Studies will be located on the second floor. There will be “flex zones” where students can gather throughout the building.
The visual arts pavilion will have a courtyard facing Boomer Creek, with another outdoor courtyard — adjacent to that — near the science classrooms.
An additional parking space was added in the schematic design, but the walking distance from the original layout and the additional parking remains equal.
“One of the things we want to make sure is that if (students) are crossing Franklin Street, we at least monitor it or control it in some way,” Gamble said.
Employee parking will be located near the bus loop on the south side of the building. The bus loop will allow special education students to enter easily and will be closely monitored.
The athletics phase of the project is scheduled to be schematically designed in the spring, Gamble said.
“This project and the athletics portion are scheduled to be completed in the first five years of this bond cycle, so that all of our new construction will be completed well in advance,” Gamble said. “Obviously a lot of that depends on bond sales, financing and cash flow.”
Other items such as SPS deferred maintenance, textbooks and the 1:1 Technology Initiative will be funded through the remaining 10-year bond cycle.
The move of ninth grade students into the current high school will come after construction of the new high school is completed.
“Obviously there are going to be some things we need to address in this building before we move ninth graders in,” Gamble said. “We’ll have to evaluate that and see how deep it goes….We’ll be done with that.