New Albany News

New Albany schools

Firm ready to narrow new building design plans


In about two weeks, architects from Moody Nolan of Columbus could be ready to present a design plan for New Albany's new school building.

At a March 11 work session open to the community, the architects showed 40 audience members nine conceptual drawings that included one-, two- and three-story buildings.

Two sessions also were held earlier in the day March 11 for faculty and administrators to choose the best concepts.

All concepts included a porch and outdoor learning spaces, but each building was oriented differently on the site and in its relationship to the 2-5 elementary and middle school buildings.

Moody Nolan architects are expected to narrow the designs to three concepts by March 20.

A draft of the final design is scheduled to be presented to the community from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 4, in the 2-5 elementary building cafeteria.

The draft then would be reviewed by the school board, superintendent's facilities committee and community members in a board work session at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 8, in the Jefferson Room at New Albany High School Jefferson Room.

Community members also can offer feedback on the district's website,

On March 11, audience members were asked to choose their three favorite concepts and make comments.

The two concepts that received the most votes were two-story buildings oriented east and west. Each building had a porch that would face the green space north of the middle school parking lot.

Lori Cohen, another parent, asked how green space on the north side of any building will be usable between October and April.

Curtis Moody, president of Moody Nolan, said studies show that high-performing buildings incorporate natural light with more glass, which means the green spaces will be important even if students only view them from inside.

Sally Henry Thunberg, another parent, said gymnasium space is crucial because the district currently cannot provide enough space for sports programs.

"We need to make sure we're looking at that (a gym) because sports are important to children," Thunberg said.

The new building will be designed for 1,200 students in grades 2 to 8 and include a gymnasium, said Superintendent April Domine.

It will be located between the 2-5 elementary building and the middle school cafeteria.

Funding will come from a 2.59-mill bond issue to generate $45.1 million that local voters approved last November.

District officials hope to break ground this spring and open the building by the fall of 2014.