MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Work is set to start soon on a major renovation project at Bartlett High School, with a big component focused on making students safer.
New renderings show how the $60 million plan will transform the high school. It will include upgraded common areas, as well as a new library, cafeteria, and auditorium.
"Parts of this campus are over a hundred years old," said Jason Sykes, Bartlett City Schools' communications, volunteer, & outreach coordinator. "We have not had any major renovation on this campus in 40 years."
Sykes said the district spent two years coming up with plans.
"We surveyed parents. We surveyed teachers. We held community forums," said Sykes. "So, this project is a culmination of a lot of studies over a two-year period."
With school security a growing concern nationwide, Sykes said the safety of students is a big part of the renovations.
The plan calls for limiting entrances to the school for students and visitors.
"High schools today all across the country, that's one of the things that they really want to have--a campus that's secure with one entry point," said Sykes.
In addition, buildings will be connected to each other, so students won't have to go outside throughout the day.
"Not only is it going to be a renewed sense of pride for the students and faculty at the school, but also the community as a whole," said Sykes.
The renovations will allow the school to accommodate more than 2,250 students, which Sykes said will be a major benefit, with the area expected to grow over the next few years.
The renovation will be paid for, in part, through a property tax increase, which has already been approved. The school and city will also chip in to help pay for the project.
A ground-breaking ceremony will be held on Monday, June 4th at 5 p.m. outside the main entrance.
For more information about the project, visit BuiltForBarlett.com