BRUNSWICK –– Superintendent Michael Mayell presented possible designs for the new $63 million middle school to the school board Monday.
The school would be built on the property where Edwards and Visintainer middle schools now sit.
The board approved a tentative design for the building so that architects from TDA Architects could begin working with the construction crews on the next stage of the building process.
“Construction starts in April, 2019,” said Mayell. “Probably late April; we’re really excited about that.”
The performing arts center will not be done by fall 2020 when school start, but it is expected to be completed by winter break.
“And then the next year (2021) comes the stadium, retention basin, shot put, discus,” said Mayell.
The school will have a handicapped-accessible main and side entrances, outdoor areas where students can eat lunch and teachers can teach class on nice days, and parking for buses, parents and people attending sporting events.
To improve security, visitors only will be able to enter the building through the main entrance.
“You have to be buzzed into the building and then you have to be buzzed into the office,” Mayell said.
Visitors then would have to be buzzed into the building through another door.
There are additional safety measures for the classrooms. The building is divided into pods, each of which has four classrooms.
In a lockdown situation, the main entrance to the pod can lock and then each classroom door can lock, which creates an extra barrier.
There are cameras at each exterior door and doors can be controlled through the office as well. Office aids will be able to monitor these doors, can tell when people enter them and can lock them all from the main office.
“Whenever you talk about this your eyes get all misty,” said board member Mary Weinhauer after Mayell finished his presentation.
“When I first started teaching, I was a high school guy and that was it,” said Mayell in response. “I didn’t want anything to do with middle school.”
However, when a middle school position opened up nearby, he took it and changed his mind.
“I fell in love with the middle school kids, their personality, how much a teacher influences them,” said Mayell.
“I got my first principal job at Visintainer Middle School. … The kids come in and they’re all excited for a brand-new building. I got the sense that they were a little deflated. I always thought this district deserved better facilities.”
He spoke of all the times that Visintainer flooded in his time there and how he often spent a lot of time before students returned to school making the building look and feel the best he could.
“It’s a little personal,” said Mayell regarding the project.
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