Design

Architects unveil new BRHS Sportplex design, construction process to begin in October | National News

The architecture firm behind Alexander City Schools’ construction projects unveiled new renderings of the future Benjamin Russell High School Thursday, as the school board moves forward with its plan to build at the Sportplex.

Rick Lathan and Ryan Vernon of Lathan Architects presented a rough blueprint and video rendering of the campus at the Alexander City Board of Education’s March meeting Thursday, just minutes after taking part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly renovated Jim Pearson Elementary School.

“Right now, we’re looking at a timeline of approximately Oct. 1 to begin the bidding process,” Lathan told Thursday’s board meeting attendees, including school staff and Alexander City councilmembers Buffy Colvin and Scott Hardy.

Last year, Lathan Architects unveiled a lodge-style campus, including an imposing stone entrance, dormer windows and wooden beams, to be placed on a piece of property purchased by the school board near the intersection of US Highway 280 and State Highway 63. The school board has since changed plans, purchasing land at the Charles E. Bailey Sportplex from the city for $600,000, but according to the architects, the design and overall aesthetic will remain unchanged.

“One of the things you can see, and you can see it in Jim Pearson, is a theme that we started with, and the community led this theme,” Lathan said, highlighting the similar entranceways in the Benjamin Russell renderings and Jim Pearson addition . “We’re carrying that through all our designs. Even in the future designs we have for the other schools, we’re going to bring those ideas as well, to bring a cohesiveness to the design and the community.”

With the building design already complete, Lathan said, the next step is a six-month due diligence process, including civil and geotechnical engineering surveys, before the school board can start soliciting construction contracts in October. Two bond issues in 2020 and 2022 bring the total project budget up to about $74 million.

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