School board discusses fourth middle school concepts

The students would be in neighborhoods. The furniture they use would be mobile and easily-moved. They'll be able to write on the walls made just for learning and expressing ideas. 

An architectual firm returned to the area Tuesday night to describe new ideas and concepts for a new middle school for Williamburg/James City School district at its regular board meeting. 

As the board was led through a presentation about the concepts, president Jim Kelly wanted to make sure local teachers would have input into the concepts and designs from the teacher who would actually use the space. 

"We have a plan where every curriculum coordinator will select teachers to come in and talk with designers about the concepts for the fourth middle school," Superintendent Steve Constantino told board members.  

The new middle school would join the district's three others — Toano, Berkeley and Lois S. Hornsby – and be built at the James Blair building which houses the district's Central Offices.

Phase one for building the middle school calls for a $29.6 million renovation of the James Blair location, with the central offices sharing the property with a middle school for 600 students, slated to open in the 2018 school year.

To keep up with projected school enrollment numbers, the school would be expanded one to two years later to hold 900 students. That expansion could cost between $21 million and $29 million more, according to 2014 estimates provided by the school's architects.

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