EAST HELENA – East Helena is getting a closer look at the design of the new high school, set to be completed by fall 2020.
Thursday night, SMA Architects presented their work so far to a group of parents, students and staff.
They showed off the floor plans for the two-story school, plus design images and examples from other schools to give people an idea of what the inside will look like. They also asked for questions and feedback from the audience, who focused on topics like security, the gymnasium, and where lockers will be located.
Architects said for the exterior design of the school, they’re drawing inspiration from East Helena’s industrial and agricultural roots, with materials like corrugated metal and brick.
Inside, they say their designs focus on create an open and inviting space.
Types of classrooms will include spaces for music and art, welding and woodwork classrooms, and a cyber cafe.
“If I was in high school and had been able to go here, I think the cyber cafe and connection into the library and overlooking into the commons area, where they’re going to have the theater and the lunch room, and then all the glass, that would have been great, ” said Angie Nelson, a mom of two whose youngest son is in 8th grade.
East Helena school board chair Scott Walter says they appreciate the public’s input, and while they don’t yet have all of the answers yet, the feedback will help them create the best school possible.
“It’ll be a modern facility,” he said. “There will be a lot of things they haven’t seen in typical classroom settings.”
According to the architects, design development will end in November.
Construction should then start next spring.
Now, they’re asking for even more feedback, on everything from how the school can be used for community events to what the name, mascot and school colors should be.
Starting September 19th, you can go to easthelenahighschool.org to submit ideas.
Reporting by Evelyn Schultz for MTN News