Kenton City School nearing final design for new middle/high school Posted on March 22, 2023 0 The proposed front view of the Kenton Middle/High School building, with a bus loop on the right and student/visitor parking to the left.Garmann/Miller By TIM THOMAS Times editor The Kenton school board is closing in on final design plans for the new middle school/high school project. Superintendent Chad Thrush said, at Monday’s board of education meeting, the design/development phase will be coming to a close by the end of next week. “That means ‘design done.’ The design is pretty much set,” he said. The only changes after this point will involve what goes into building spaces. But what it also means is there will be more “value engineering” to trim the cost of the project which has been impacted by inflation. “I hope it’s not as much as during the schematic design,” Thrush said of the anticipated cuts. Officials won’t know the actual project cost until early June when bids are expected to be opened. There will be several alternates in the bid package which they will consider based on the available funds. Site preparation for the school is expected to begin in June, but Thrush said it could be fall before actual building construction gets underway. The proposed rear view of the new Kenton school, with the ag shop to the left and the gymnasium to the right.Garmann/Miller The new school will be located at the corner of Silver Street and Morningside Drive, east of Kenton Elementary School. Laura Little, project manager and Ryan Heitkemp, one of the lead architects from Garmann Miller, showed renderings of different views of the new school. “It’s not the final rendering, but we’re getting awfully close,” Thrush said. Little showed the proposed front of the building, with the structure featuring red brick at the top half and a tan block on the bottom section, to go along with a metal roof. On the left side of the school will be visitor and student parking, which will be separated on the right by a loop for bus pickup and drop-off. People will enter the main entrance through red doors, with the ability to go to the office or clinic, or into the student section of the building. A shared cafeteria will be in the center, but there will be a division between middle school and high school students. The maker space currently at the high school will be featured on the main floor with its array of equipment for students to use. A more traditional library will be located upstairs in the center of the building. It has an overlook into the student commons area and is accessible to both the middle school and high school classrooms, Thrush said. It also serves to somewhat separate the middle school and high school wings of the building. At the rear there will be the performing arts center on the right and the gymnasium on the left, with a space to handle ticketing between the facilities. There also will be a large restroom area to serve both facilities. For events, spectators will enter from the rear of the building which is expected to feature a large Wildcat head on the gymnasium side. Inside the gymnasium, a huge “K” is being proposed on a wall. Thrush said he hopes it will be constructed with wood from the gymnasium and stage at the existing middle school to preserve some school history. Garmann/Miller The agriculture shop is located at the back of the building so visitors can see the lab and equipment as they enter the main events entrance. “One big concept from the beginning was to make sure our students, parents and community can easily see the career technical education opportunities offered at the school,” Thrush said. Parent pickup of students will be at the rear of the building, either by pulling into a parking space and waiting for their kids, or to getting into a line of vehicles. Thrush again noted for parents with students at both the elementary and the middle/high school building, there will be a connecting road from the elementary to the new school. In a related matter, until the money being collected for the project is needed to pay for work on the building, it continues to be invested and is earning good returns for the district. Treasurer Jill Smith said the local funds and locally funded initiatives have generated $300,000 so far. The state funds have produced another $31,000, she added.