SHELBYVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A $32 million renovation would completely rework the look of Shelby County High School's entrance, classrooms and athletic facilities.
Before construction can begin, the school board has to approve those plans and the finances. A meeting Thursday could determine the fate of the project.
But as Shelby County Schools Superintendent James Neihof, and he'll tell you schools are the backbone of Shelby County's growing community.
"When people come to visit our community and consider living here, one of the first things they ask is 'what is the conditions of the schools?'" he said.
That's why administrators have worked to get plans complete. The plans consist of a two-story entry foyer that would create an open common area for students and teachers. It would also create more security features and force visitors to go through a screening vestibule before entering.
"We want our kids to feel safe, but we don't want them to feel like they're on high alert all the time and things are being patrolled... we want them to feel safe and secure," Neihof said.
The plans also call for updates to athletic facilities. A new, multi-use turf field and a new track-and-field facility. Updates to other facilities aim to make the high school "equitable" and meet Title IX standards. Those standards didn't exist when the school was built in the 60s. Updates to heating and air systems will also be updated.
Across town is a school just a few years old.
"You hear people at Collins talk about how nice their school is and stuff," said SCHS Sophomore Kenzie Satterfield. "People at County talk about how their school is more old."
But the goal isn't necessarily to make one school better than the other.
"We want our students to feel like they have great facilities no matter where they go to school," Neifhof added.
With plans to expand classrooms and create a community-based learning environment, administrators feel it will cultivate student success.
"We need to be updated and we need to give them the opportunity and give them the ability and experiences to be ready for that instead of just sticking back in the traditional high school," said SCHS Principal Margo Whisman.
There's still work to be done, and the project hinges on approval from the board. But, if approved Thursday, construction could begin as early as this winter.
If all goes as planned, the update would be completed in late 2021.
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