THS renovations will begin this summer

TUPELO – As Tupelo High School students receive their new laptops next year, the school itself will undergo a facelift.
THS will get new classrooms, modern common spaces and upgraded art facilities as part of a $4.9 million renovation that will begin during the summer.
The first phase of the renovation will include the freshman building (H building), the technology building (J building) and the administrative building (C building). A second phase will be for the fine arts building (D building).
In the first phase, which will cost $2.5 million, the freshman building will be renovated and six classrooms will be added. That includes four regular classrooms and two art classrooms.
Administrators currently housed in C building will move into a newly renovated space at the bottom of J building. The counseling center and the career center will also be housed there.
The classrooms upstairs in J building will be renovated.
The C building will then be turned into a visual arts building with art studios and an art gallery.
Last week officials from the school district toured Duke University to see how it had created some modern learning environments.
TPSD facilities director Julie Hinds said the construction project will incorporate some of those ideas with a computer help desk and commons areas for students to gather and work.
“We really liked the modern look of all of it,” Hinds said.
The help desk will be a place for students having technical issues with their laptops, which are being distributed as part of an effort to modernize the learning environment. Common spaces will also give students with laptops a place to work.
“The laptop environment changes the thinking in terms of what type of furniture and space they need,” school board President Mike Clayborne said.
Renovations for the J and H buildings will begin at the end of the school year. Once the J building is complete, administrators will move in from the C building and the work on the C building will begin. The C building is expected to be ready in October.
Phase 2 of the project, which is expected to cost $2.4 million, is contingent upon funding. The fine arts building will be renovated and expanded for the band, choir and drama programs.
It also will include room for guitar, key boarding, strings and music theory classes.
Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or at chris.kieffer@djournal.com.

Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal