Renovation of Chapel Hill High School, including construction of three new buildings, will begin this summer. The project is scheduled to be completed in late 2020.
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools board heard from the project’s architect and builder recently about plans for the renovation of the more than 50-year-old campus.
Ashley Jackson of Moseley Architects said the renovation will move the entrance from the north side of campus along High School Road to the south side, where the high school will share a drive with Smith Middle School.
Administration offices will be moved to the existing classroom building on the south side. The project will keep and renovate the large classroom building on the south side of campus and the Hanes Theatre on the northeast side.
The large classroom building on the north side of campus and the smaller, original high school building in front of the theater will be demolished.
Before construction begins on the two new buildings, the school's trailer compound will be removed, beginning in June, and demolition of the classroom building to the north will begin. Also over the summer, the ballfields will be realigned and a new access road from Seawell School Road will be built.
Construction of one of the new classroom buildings is expected to begin in July and last until June 2019. Construction of the other new classroom building is to begin in September and be complete in December 2019.
Once construction of the large classroom buildings is complete, renovations to the existing buildings that are being kept will begin, a job that should take about four months, from February to May 2020. The final step is to construct a smaller building on the west side of campus.
New elements also include a courtyard and an outdoor amphitheater.
Lincoln Center on hold
Funds for the project were originally approved in a $73 million bond that voters approved in a 2016 referendum that also included funds for remaking the Lincoln Center campus that houses the CHCCS central offices and the Phoenix Academy alternative high school.
Since voters approved the bond, the cost of the two projects has soared to roughly $102 million. The price of the high school renovation went from $44 million to about $64 million.
The school board's vote to move forward with Chapel Hill High means the Lincoln Center redevelopment, which would give the district its long-awaited, centralized per-kindergarten center for 189 students, will be put on hold.