The old Chamblee Charter High School’s days are numbered.
Construction work on new academic and athletic facilities is running on time, with a scheduled opening date in December.
David Tench, chair of the Construction Progress Advisory Committee for Chamblee’s governance council, said students returning in August will have to wait one more semester to test out the new building.
“When school opens this year, it’ll still be in the old school with portable classrooms,” Tench said.
But Tench said the new facility is nearly complete, and should be ready for the planned move during the winter break. “It looks like it’s done on the front, so I could see how people would expect it to be open,” Tench said.
The approximately $70 million renovation will be completed in two phases. The academic building, which will house all the classrooms, cafeteria and media center, is scheduled to be complete by the end of the year, Tench said.
The second building will include a gymnasium and track, art classrooms, a multipurpose room for activities such as wrestling and dance classes, locker rooms and a natatorium. The natatorium, or swimming facility, is one of three that are to be used by the entire county, Tench said.
“It’s actually two buildings that are going to be joined by a breezeway or bridge,” Tench said.
Tench said he’s very proud that even during the disruptive construction period, Chamblee Charter High School has been able to maintain its academic achievement.
“The building doesn’t make students, the teachers do, and that shows, because Chamblee has had such high grades in the facilities they’re in,” Tench said. “Now they’re going to have a state-of-the-art facility they’ll use for the next 50 years.”
Tench said school officials are preparing for the challenge of moving everything from the old school into the new academic building over the roughly two-week winter break. But he said everyone is looking forward to the new facilities.
“Teachers are really excited and I know the students are.”