AUTHOR: GIBSON

HED:Architects get the go-ahead with Milam renovations

By Michaela Gibson Morris

Daily Journal

As one phase of the Milam School renovation nears completion, the Tupelo Public School Board on Tuesday gave architects the go-ahead to proceed with plans a $2.1 million third phase.

The architects' plans call for the renovation of the historic south wing of the building, the auditorium, gym, choral practice room and animal lab. The plans also call for the creation of an outdoor amphitheater-classroom, said Rud Robison, of Staub Robison Williams, at the board's at its Tuesday lunch meeting.

The total estimated cost for the third phase of the renovation is $2.1 million, Robison said. Architects said they expect to begin advertising for bids in July.

In addition to the renovations, plans call for the demolition for a two-story section of the east wing that faces Robins Street to make room for the amphitheater.

The renovations will not change the appearance of the historic south side of the building, which was built in 1927, Robison said. Additionally, a restoration of the main entrance area to its original art-deco style is planned.

The section to be demolished, located between the animal lab and the north wall of the south wing, currently houses about four classrooms and some storage space, Robison said. Space eliminated by the demolition portion of the east wing will be offset by the classroom space in the Phase II construction, expected to be complete in September.

The board had originally budgeted $1.3 million for the Phase III renovation project, however, the Phase II classroom wing construction currently under way is costing the district $200,000 less than was budgeted for its construction.

In other business:

- The school board voted to accept a confirmation of the district's boundaries. Through extensive research, the board's attorney and engineering firm found that homes in Trace Estates are not included in the school district. Board officials estimate 20 households could be affected.

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