After months of analysis and discussion, the Board of Education has found clarity on the future of J.C. Booth Middle, and the plan is for future Warriors to call a new building home.
From an original five choices down to just two finalists, the Board of Education voted to pursue a new building for the overcrowded and outdated Booth instead of a massive renovation of the current building.
Staff now has the direction they’ve been looking for, and they can drill down on the final choice.
“All we’re asking is to be able to go out and begin to design and to put out (Request For Proposals) and to get bids,” said Superintendent Dr. Jody Barrow. “Ultimately we’ll bring all of that back to the Board for your final approval.”
A massive renovation of Booth would have come with a $29.4 million price tag, but more distractions for students. A renovation of the school would take roughly 26-27 months and need to be done in three major phases to limit disruptions to learning. A new school could be completely built from the ground up in 18 to 19 months at an estimated net cost of $31.2 million when factoring in the current building’s appraised value of $12.5 million as an asset.
“I don’t view this as a brand new school, this is more of a replacement school for a school that is still in our inventory,” said Barrow. “It’s not going to go away. I certainly think that it can be repurposed, but it’s not meeting the needs of our students today. We’ve outgrown the core.”
Earlier discussions broached the reopening of Tyrone Elementary and possibilities for future use of the current Booth building, but those are on the back burner for now.
“There will be other decisions that we can make,” said Barrow. “We can refocus after we’re able to make a decision on what happens to Booth.”