HARRISONBURG — Harrisonburg City Public Schools has begun accepting architectural proposals for its new middle school.
Sending out the request for proposals is the latest step in the division’s plan to add a school to ease crowding, which officials say will come to a head in 2016. By that school year, division officials have said, enrollment will outgrow both Skyline and Thomas Harrison middle schools.
The new facility will replace Thomas Harrison, which will be converted into an elementary school. Having THMS as a sixth elementary school also will help ease crowding at lower grade levels.
Superintendent Scott Kizner said the division, which sent out the RFP last week, wants architectural firms to submit plans to build the new middle school on Garbers Church Road.
The middle school project is expected to cost between $30 million and $40 million and will be built on one of two sites: adjacent to Harrisonburg High School or south of the Heritage Oaks golf course entrance, just down the road from the high school.
Architects are being asked to include details about building on both sites, as well as details about renovating THMS to make it a suitable elementary school.
Proposals are due July 26.
A committee made up of Kizner, City Manager Kurt Hodgen, representatives from the Harrisonburg School Board and City Council and another school division employee will review the proposals received and recommend the top ones to the board.
“The committee will narrow it down to two or three [proposals and the] entire board will select the final one,” Kizner said. “I hope by late August to mid-September we can publicly announce who the architect will be.”