Benicia Middle School campus modernization dominates school board meeting Thursday – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

One of the largest remaining items to be funded by Measure S is new construction at BMS to give the school more of a 21st century look. Lee Pollard of HY Architects had presented plans for the redesign in 2017, which included new modular classrooms, a modernized courtyard and a new kitchen and drama room. Pollard said a meeting with staff was held on Jan. 9, which led to some changes in the draft design. Drama teacher Cathy Wright told Pollard she did not like the idea of having the new drama classroom near the basketball courts because of the noise. It was decided that the classroom would be taking over two classroom spaces near the library. The spaces would be converted into a black box theater with space for performance and seating. Pollard said the area would need soundproofing next to adjacent classrooms and additional windows.

Pollard said Wright had also told him that her students rehearsed in groups and did not have enough space, so she requested outdoor practice space. She also suggested a path at the front of the campus for parents to attend performances after school hours.“This gives us an opportunity to bring the parents in and have them go straight into a drama classroom for a performance without them having to wander all the way through the school,” Pollard said.

According to Pollard, Wright’s suggestions would cost about half of what was initially proposed for a new drama classroom. With the loss of an extra teaching space, however, three modular classrooms would be added to the northwest corner instead of the initial plan of two.Pollard also went into further detail on proposed changes to the interiors of the buildings, including upgrades to the library.

Source: Benicia Middle School campus modernization dominates school board meeting Thursday

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