Lynchburg, VA - We now know what a new Heritage High School should look like.
The Lynchburg City School board approved moving forward with design plans that include more than 250,000 square feet of learning space, an indoor track, three basketball courts, and a governor's school.
Superintendent, Dr. Scott Brabrand said at the beginning of the board's discussion Tuesday night, that it was a great night for the city of Lynchburg, and would be the beginning of a new era for Heritage High School.
The approved plans include a brand new school situated on the current Heritage athletic fields, with a facade facing Timberlake Road.
The unanimous vote approving a new design didn't come until after some serious discussion about one specific issue: whether to include an indoor track.
Currently, among more than 200 schools state-wide that have winter track teams, Heritage is the only public high school in Virginia with an indoor track.
It's utilized by high school teams throughout the region, and after lengthy discussions between administrators and school board members, it was decided that a $3.4 million indoor track would be included in the approved design plans.
Administrators are happy they can begin to move forward. But they acknowledge a new school is still years away.
"From this point forward, we're looking at 10-12 months to finish the design for the building and then take it to bid sometime in early 2014, and then break ground as soon as possible after that. So there's a potential to maybe occupy the school by August of 2017" said Ben Copeland, the Assistant Superintendent of Operations.
After receiving feedback on the approved design from city council, the school board will enter into the design development phase. That's when specifics like floor plans and classroom components are discussed.