IAS Unveils Expansion, Renovation Plans
The renovated building will include classrooms on the second floor, a multipurpose room, and an expanded cafeteria and media center.
International Academy of Smyrna released plans for its renovation and expansion to an audience of about 50 parents, students and teachers Wednesday night. The school is currently in the process of purchasing the former Rich’s building on South Cobb Drive that it has occupied for the past three years.
“When the school year ends we will own this building and we will be in the process throughout the summer of building out that space,” said Larry Ramsey, IAS board chairman. “And when you come back in the fall you won’t recognize it.”
The renovations will make the building’s unoccupied second floor classroom ready as well as update the first floor, lobby and the building’s exterior. Some of the renovation’s special features include a multipurpose room that will serve as a gymnasium, an expanded cafeteria and kitchen, a larger media center and a covered drop-off area for carpool. Construction is projected to be completed by late July in time for the first day of school on Aug. 6.
Nancy Trejo, the project manager for the design firm handling the renovation, said the first and second floor will be divided into color-coded wings by grade. Kindergarten through third grade classrooms will be on the first floor and fourth though eighth grade on the second.
The school will need the extra space on the second floor to capacitate the increased enrollment administrators expect for the 2012-2013 school year. Sandra Alexander, the school’s principal, said that about 800 students currently attend the school. She added that 911 have enrolled for the 2012-2013 school year and that there are about 200 more students who are still filling out enrollment paperwork.
School officials project that next year IAS will have 12 kindergarten classrooms, eight first grade classrooms, six second grade classrooms, five third grade classrooms, four fourth grade classrooms, three to four fifth grade classrooms and two classrooms each for grades sixth through eighth.
Telana Hicks, the middle year program coordinator, also provided an update about IAS’s status as an International Baccalaureate school. She said IAS has been in the candidacy stages of the process since the school opened. At this time most of the teachers have received IB training and the remaining teachers and administrators will undergo the training in June.
“We’re taking it step by step by step to ensure that we’re covering everything that IB is asking us to do,” she said.
Once all the teachers are trained, Hicks said that IAS will submit its official application on Oct. 1 and then undergo authorization visits in April 2013.