Pisgah expansion progresses

By DeeAnna Haney | May 01, 2014
Pictured is an above view of the area where seven new classrooms and a pulp and paper lab are being constructed.

Students and teachers at Pisgah High School will see some big changes by the end of fall semester later this year. Construction began just before Christmas last year to expand classroom space at the school.

The $2 million project is being paid for by state lottery funds, said Tracy Hargrove, maintenance director for Haywood County Schools. The target completion date is Nov. 1, though Hargrove hopes to see it finished sooner.

"Within this project we've tried to address several issues," Hargrove said.

The first is to add seven brand new classrooms for the five teachers, called "rovers," who have been forced to carry all their call materials on a cart and rove from room to room to teach during other teachers' planning periods.

There will also be a large lab built for the pulp and paper classes, which will have a specially designed drainage system for the water used in the class.

A small 1,200 square-foot trailer that has been the only space for chorus students for the past 16 years was torn down in December and is being replaced by a 1,600 square-foot building attached to J building.

Traffic will also be realigned with the construction to free up parking space for students and teachers and to improve safety by providing only one point of entry onto the campus.

Buses currently take up the majority of parking near the tennis courts, putting a strain on some students who can't find parking in the mornings. The new plans, however, will address parking issue by making the bus traffic flow behind the school.

Students will be released from the buses at a sidewalk to be built between the cafeteria and the new classrooms so they can easily walk to the courtyard, cafeteria and lobby before class in the mornings.

"This will eliminate the need to add on to J Lot," Hargrove said.

A portion of the embankment behind the school will be graded for a bus parking lot and activity buses will be parked along the track field because athletes, band and chorus students are the ones who utilize them most, Hargrove said.

This new traffic flow will free up parking in the front of the school for teachers, staff and students. It will also add to security at the school because there will only be one vehicle entrance open to the public, which will be at the front gate.

All of the site work on the bus parking lot will begin when students are gone during the summer.

"What we're doing now is what we can do while school is still in operation," Hargrove said.

Bobby Miller, site superintendent for H&M Contractors, said the project is currently on schedule.