Updates on Apex High Construction
Ever since the old Apex High building was demolished this past summer, current students, alumni, faculty, and the Apex community have been eagerly awaiting the construction of the new building. With such rich history in the heart of Apex, the original location serves as a sentimental reminder of the teenage years for many alumni, but thousands of new students will soon make these same memories on a very different campus. The construction team is hard at work to get the school ready for 2019, and we have an update on what they have gotten done so far. Our fearless leader Dr. Kearney is in close contact with the builders to oversee the entire construction process, and she answered some questions about what they have done so far and what we can expect to see in the future.
Q: As far as construction goes, what has been built so far? The foundation has been laid for the ground level of the locker rooms, restrooms, and concession stand which are at the back of the campus adjacent to the stadium. All of the grounds have been prepared, stakes have been placed indicating the “layout” of the campus, and soon foundations will be poured for the entire building. Much of the parking deck has been completed, and work has begun on the railings and other finishes.
Q: When do you predict all of the construction will be finished? Construction is scheduled to be complete in August 2019. As most folks know, early phases of construction projects can be impacted by the weather, and we are hopeful weather will not impede the progress of the project!
Q: How would you compare the new structure to what we had before? The architects (ClarkNexsen) and construction team (WCPSS staff, me) sought out the input and suggestions of students, staff, and community for the AHS renovation. Everyone agreed that the courtyard was the most popular feature, and our team went to great lengths to include it in the new design. Since the Laura Duncan site is smaller in acreage than most high schools and surrounded by existing properties, the team designed our new facility to fit the site. As a result, AHS will not look “just like” any other existing high school in the area. The main entrance will be on the front right side (near what was the junior lot) with the athletic entrance on the back right side (near the stadium) and the arts entrance on the front left side (near what was the senior lot). As far as parking is concerned, students will park on the deck (what was the senior lot), buses will load and unload in the bus loop (adjacent to the deck), and staff and visitors will park near the main entrance (what was the junior lot). Our building will be a “square donut” which includes all instructional spaces plus the arts wing (auditorium, arts classrooms, and offices), administrative wing, athletics wing (main and aux gym, locker rooms, offices), and larger CTE program labs/classrooms in an area adjacent to the cafeteria and loading dock.
Q: What are you most excited for about the new building? Because we are an “existing school community” and have such a rich history, our new facility has been designed to include dedicated spaces for the arts, CTE program labs/classrooms, the AOIT program, and athletics. The design will integrate al
l of these spaces with a courtyard and display spaces to share our many trophies and awards. Upon entering any one of our lobbies, visitors will know they are at the home of the Apex High School Cougars!
Q: Are there any plans to incorporate the ‘spirit’ of Apex similarly to the former building? We have several murals and treasured pieces of art that will be prominently displayed in our lobbies and common areas. I am hopeful that student groups will volunteer their artistic abilities to further incorporate our school colors and mascots to make it feel even more like home.
Thank you, Dr. Kearney, for keeping us informed and working so hard to give us an excellent new campus! Even though current juniors and seniors will not take classes in the new building, we are all excited to see the new and improved Apex High School. Stay tuned to peakstudentmedia.com and other Apex High media outlets to get more updates on the construction.