The New Albany Architectural Review Board last week signed off on the New Albany-Plain Local School District's plans for a new two-story, 150,000-square-foot building.
Workers from Corna Kokosing Construction Co. are expected to begin construction soon, said district spokesman Patrick Gallaway.
The project, which will be between the 2-5 elementary building and the middle school, required several approvals from the city.
The architectural review board on June 10 approved the demolition of district-owned houses at 6495 and 6497 New Albany-Condit Road.
The land will be used for a new entrance that will be built opposite to Chatham Green Drive, according to plans designed by Parsons Brinckerhoff, a company brought into the project by Moody-Nolan architects of Columbus.
The road north of the 2-5 elementary gymnasium will be closed but parents will continue to use the elementary bus loop north of the administrative office to drop off and pick up their children.
All buses for all grades will use a bus loop accessed from Kardules Fields Way.
The architectural review board voted 4-0 July 8 in favor of the final design with a certificate of appropriateness. Board members Bernard Costantino, Brian Nebozuk and Shirli Billings were absent.
The school building will be Georgian style, mostly brick with white accents, and the gymnasium will be similar to those already built on campus with gray and red siding.
The building will be oriented east to west, with green space south of the building and bus access from the north through the new bus loop.
The architectural review board required the following conditions with approval:
* Any future additions to the building must be reviewed by the board.
* Landscaping plans, bicycle parking, any minor architectural changes and placement of the high school tennis courts must be approved by city staff members.
* Signage must go through a separate approval process.
On May 20, the New Albany-Plain Local school board agreed to move the high school tennis courts to the north, if needed, to accommodate a new student parking lot and to build a temporary road to access the new parking lot.
New Albany City Planner Stephen Mayer said the minor architectural changes could include adding cupolas for ventilation the top of the academic building.
"What I see here, I like," said ARB member Jonathan Iten, "I think the design is to be commended."
Board member Alan Hinson agreed, saying he's traveled a lot and the school district campus "is like no other."
Iten asked about two modular buildings by the 2-5 elementary and Superintendent April Domine said they would be removed when the new building opens.
The building for 1,200 students is expected to open in the fall of 2014.