School board to hear update on new high school timeline

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At their upcoming meeting on Aug. 13 the Okeechobee County School Board will hear an update from Greg Kelly of CRA Architects on the Special Facilities construction timeline for a new Okeechobee High School.

Back in late July a Special Facilities Preapplication Committee visited Okeechobee High School and determined that the building was in critical need of replacement.

During that visit seven individuals took part in a presentation to the committee, including Superintendent Ken Kenworthy, Assistant Superintendent Dylan Tedders, Director of Operations Brian Barrett, Director of Finance Corey Wheeler, Principal of OHS Lauren Myers, Principal of Okeechobee Freshman Campus Vicki Goggans, Greg Kelley of CRA Architects, and student Zachary Reister.

Following the presentation, the committee toured the OHS and OFC campuses. After deliberating, the committee invited the presenters back in the room and let them know the group determined the request for building a new OHS as a critical need

A month after that visit members of the school district traveled to Tallahassee to make a presentation to the Special Facilities Committee, along with other districts requesting funds, to be ranked for future funding through the Special Facilities program.

The first building at Okeechobee High School was constructed in 1966. Seven more buildings were added in 1968, two in 1973, and finally three in 1993.

Estimates in 2015 put the costs of building a new high school around $60 million. Leaks, flooding, infrastructure needs, and outdated technology highlighted the list of problems at OHS during that initial inspection.

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