Board of Education member Tim Stultz, who represents the area, said the project was needed because of overcrowding. Initially, the board planned for a 10-classroom addition.
“We then determined we needed to do more with 20 classrooms,” Stultz said. “We were able to put together money from SPLOST III and SPLOST IV to get a larger addition.”
Cumberland based-Balfour Beatty Construction is handling the project, which will last through July of 2015, said Henry Gomez, program manager for the district’s Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax department.
“There was a lot of preliminary construction taking place last year, the majority of which was sub-surface investigation,” Gomez said. “The meat and bones of the new building will take place this year and next year.”
Teasley’s capacity is 456, but the school had 733 students last year and is projected to have 750 next year. Once completed, capacity at the school will be 812, according to Gomez.
Teasley is near Atlanta and Paces Ferry roads off Spring Hill Road in Smyrna.
The 10-classroom addition would have cost about $3.1 million, but the 20-classroom expansion, along with a new gym and expanded cafeteria, increased the cost to $14 million, Gomez said.
A new gym being added to the school will measure 7,552 square feet, replacing an old gym that was 3,180 square feet.
“With the student body, there was a definite need to include the gym and the cafeteria because what they had just currently wasn’t going to work,” said Randy Scamihorn, the school board’s vice chairman.
Stultz said the school has seen steady growth over the last decade.
“It was getting very overcrowded, and I’m glad the district was able to come up with the plan,” Stultz said. “The school is pretty much landlocked, but Nick Parker (the school district’s senior executive SPLOST director) and his team came up with a plan with the necessary numbers.”
The school will grow to 44,000 square feet in total.
“We’re essentially doubling the size of the school,” Gomez said. “There will be new flooring, interior and exterior paint and some minor renovations to the media center. The existing kitchen facility is also being expanded by about 1,200 feet.”
The school currently has three trailers, but all of those will be gone once construction is finished, Gomez said.
Starting in the 2013-14 school year and lasting through the end of 2014-15, kindergarten and first grade is being held at the former Brown Elementary in Smyrna. Brown closed when the brand-new Smyrna Elementary opened last year. Brown is now being called Teasley Primary.
“Because the Teasley campus could not support any more portable classrooms, we had to get part of the student population out of Teasley in order to have construction going on and house the student body,” said Interim Superintendent Chris Ragsdale. “So what we did was we split the current Teasley Elementary and Brown.”
Gomez said the lower level of Teasley’s new three-story addition will be administrative service space, while the second and third level will be classrooms.
When finished, the school will be three stories tall, with a new visitor parking lot and new entrance off Spring Hill Parkway, Gomez said.
The addition is being built into the land in such a way that students will be able to exit the first and second floors at ground level.
Phase two starts the first week of July. Gomez said that phase entails more foundation walls and renovation in the existing school building. The third and final stage starts the first week of August and it consists of building the three-story addition.
Stultz hopes it keeps the school in great shape for years to come.
“Teasley is a high-performing school, and people are moving into that part of the county, which was shown from the demographic study we saw last Wednesday,” Stultz said. “The population is exploding down there. The expansion needed to be done.”