Several existing classrooms at Apollo Junior High School will become six science labs, while a few smaller science labs will be converted into classrooms, Superintendent Jeannie Stone said. The library will also receive some upgrades, Stone added.
The two junior highs are in the Berkner High School of the feeder pattern, which offers robust science, technology, engineering and math curriculum.
“I can think of no better benefit for the Berkner [High School] attendance area than anything we can do to enhance their STEM facilities,” trustee Kim Caston said.
The library at Liberty Junior High School will also be brought up to current RISD standards, Stone said. Renovations include new finishes and furniture.
The board voted unanimously to approve Jackson Construction’s bid of $2.6 million for construction and $505,847.39 for new furniture. The district’s total budget for the project is $3.6 million. A portion will be paid through the district’s capital fund and the rest will be funded through the 2016 voter-approved bond program.
The board also approved a budget increase for Lake Highlands High School renovations. The school, which has already undergone a series of upgrades by Cadence McShane Construction Company, requires modifications to existing space to house two health science labs and an Apple lab, which is used for graphic design courses, Stone said.
The board voted unanimously to approve a budget increase of about $400,000, bringing the new renovation price tag to about $61.4 million.
“I think it will provide Lake Highlands High School great opportunities for our students ... It’s just more bang for our buck and an extra bonus at that school,” trustee Karen Clardy said.