The Maricopa Unified School District governing board reviewed the master plan for the high school renovation at their meeting Wednesday.

A two-story classroom building, an administrative building with offices and a lecture hall and the addition of playing fields are all part of the plan. The Summit, the existing cafeteria, would become a culinary arts center while the present multi-purpose room will be designed with a kitchen and several serving areas for a school cafeteria.

The current gymnasium would be retained as a practice facility while a new gym will be constructed. The gravel parking lot adjacent to the football field will be paved.

Phase I of the plan, the sewer installation, is being completed this summer. Then Phase II begins, which will add administrative and classroom space.

The existing site, comprised of about 45 acres, will be completely devoted to the high school itself. Plans are in the works to relocate the district office. The former middle school is being used for high school classrooms now, and the elementary school site (the Maricopa Elementary and Santa Cruz last year) will be used for offices and overflow classrooms.

“We need an entire campus to satisfy the needs of the high school,” architect Don Brubaker of Gilleland-Brubaker told the school board members.

Redesigned and renovated to accommodate 1,800 students, the School Facilities Board (SFB) has approved 160,000 square feet for the site.

“It will cost $25 million plus to really turn the campus into a high school campus,” said Brubaker, who has always emphasized a new entrance and a real focus or core for the site.

Much of the cost will be underwritten by the SFB; the group has recently added landscaping, kitchen facilities, carpeting and wood floors in gymnasiums to the list of items they will fund. The Phase II plan goes to the SFB in October.

During the ongoing project construction areas will be fenced off and secured while students are on campus.

Photos by Joyce Hollis

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