by Candy Waylock / Appen Newspapers
November 04, 2009 Milton — Architects gave a first glimpse of the proposed Bethany Bend high school site last week, showing off the building and site plans during the first community information meeting before a crowd of about 150.
The school will be situated on a 65-acre parcel. However, 25 acres will remain undisturbed. Nearly half of the usable acreage will be used for the athletic fields, open grassy areas and landscape. These dimensions, noted Frank Destadio of the Parsons construction firm, are in line with other high schools in the area.
The $70 million school can house up to 1,900 students and is on schedule to open in the fall of 2012. It will relieve overcrowded conditions at Milton High School, which is projected to have nearly 2,800 students by 2011.
While the building is essentially Johns Creek High School, the Bethany site will have its own "signature" similar to Milton's columns and Johns Creek's clock tower. Early drawings show a front façade similar to a ski lodge, with heavy beams, dark woods and stone accents.
Its look will mirror somewhat the Kings Ridge Christian School compound directly across the street, which was designed by the same architects.
Selecting a signature look for a high school is a relatively new standard for Fulton Schools, which began using community design committees when Milton was built several years ago. Prior to that, architects drew up plans and submitted them for approval to the board with little community input.
"We are not trying to put the Johns Creek High School here in Milton," said Destadio. "This is your school, and it's important you let us know how you want it to look."
Outside of the façade, however, the inside will mirror the other high schools, following educational specifications approved by the school system.
The Bethany Bend high school site will be a two-story building incorporating a "Main Street" design to connect all the major assembly areas with lots of natural light. A new feature of the school will be the "sports complex," which can seat up to 3,700 spectators and accommodate football, soccer, track and field, softball, baseball, lacrosse and tennis.