Staff Photo: John Bohn Construction rubble is collected as old buildings at North Gwinnett High School are demolished to make room for new construction.
SUWANEE -- Having first opened in 1958, North Gwinnett High School was built between the cities of Sugar Hill and Suwanee on the site of a former cotton field. It was constructed in order to consolidate what were then Suwanee and Sugar Hill high schools.
Its original blueprint included 13 classrooms, 11 teachers, a principal and a librarian.
More than 50 years later, wear and tear as well as the continued growth in Gwinnett County Public Schools, prompted district leaders to move forward with major renovations at the school funded through the most recent iteration of the education special purpose local option sales Tax.
Jim Steele, chief operations officer with Gwinnett County Public Schools, said the new and improved North Gwinnett will have a large, three-story addition constructed to replace some older buildings on the campus.
Additions will include a new media center as well as science classrooms, standard classrooms, special-education classrooms and a technology education lab. The renovations also will include an administration area expansion, a counselor suite, a large, multi-purpose activity area, business education classrooms, energy conservation measures and renovations to the front entrance and exterior of the building.
"We will make better use of the land," Steele said. "We will improve the operation of what has become a much larger school than the original design and employ modern technology, all of which will result in more efficient and better operations."
Steele said the overhaul, which is scheduled to be completed in August 2014, will also improve traffic flow for buses, cars and pedestrians.
Funded through the education penny tax, the total cost comes in at about $10.8 million.
While construction continues, the builders have installed new temporary portable classrooms to house student displaced by the renovations.