Morristown - The Morris School District Board of Education has approved plans to expand and renovate Morristown High School to accommodate increasing enrollment and provide contemporary space to support robotics, engineering, computer-aided design, technology, and fine and graphic arts instruction.

 

Enrollment at the high school has increased from 1,442 in 2011 to 1,683 as of September, 2014. Projections indicate an additional 300 students by the start of the 2018 school year.

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“In addition to adding much-needed space, the project will provide contemporary instructional areas to support 21st century learning,” said Board of Education President Leonard Posey.

“The last renovation to Morristown High School was completed in 1983. Instruction and programs have changed dramatically since then. We need space to support new technologies and collaborative group work, and to provide today’s real-world learning experiences. This project meets all those needs.”

The project is scheduled in four phases, each timed to coincide with program needs as enrollment increases. The first phase, a 24,000 square foot, 3-story addition to the Early Street building, is slated to begin in June 2015. When completed in the summer of 2016, the first and second floors of the structure will provide 6 new classrooms and an expansive state-of-the-art technology center.

The second phase will take place during the summer of 2016. At that time, hallways and doors connecting the old and new buildings will be opened, the existing CAD classroom will be renovated and divided into two instructional spaces, and the existing woodshop will be renovated and divided into two classrooms.

The estimated $9.5 million cost of phases one and two will be paid for through capital reserve.

“We anticipated the need for this addition and renovation and budgeted accordingly,” said Posey. “In so doing, we are able to provide this addition without increasing debt and cost to taxpayers.”

The third phase of the project, renovations to the existing visual and graphic arts wing, is scheduled for the summer of 2017. The fourth and final phase is planned for the summer of 2018. At that time, the interior of the ground level space of the new wing will be finished to accommodate enrollment and program needs at that time.  Phases three and four are designed as stand-alone projects which will be paid for through annual operating budgets and capital reserve funds. If necessary, these phases can be moved to future years without impacting programs in place.

The new addition will be constructed on the west side (far right) of the Early Street building.

“Although the outside of the new wing honors and reflects the classic architecture of the original 1918 building, the inside will be purely high-tech,” said Posey. “The new structure will include numerous green initiatives including low-flow water fixtures, LED lighting, and roof-mounted photovoltaic panels to save energy and reduce the environmental impact of the building.”