Liberty High School will get some much-needed renovations this summer, when construction begins on a new expansion and modernization project.
Demolition and construction is set to begin on the first phase of the project in mid-June and will reorient the campus so that the main office, campus, gym and performing arts center are situated so that they are immediately open and accessible to all visitors.
“We have definitely outgrown our theatre and performing arts classes, commons and entry space are limited in size and functionality for a larger student population,” wrote Principal Mike Deletis in a email. “The population [in the] 1990s was 900-ish. We now maintain annual enrollment between 1,150 and 1,200 kids.”
Deletis added that the Issaquah School District anticipates slow steady growth in the Liberty service area over many years.
The new performing arts center will be 27,422 square-feet; the current center is 17,140 square-feet. The new center will include a Black Box performance space/drama classroom, scene shop, full dressing room facilities and a video/TV production classroom with a studio. It will also enlarge the theater and music facilities.
The budget for the project is $15.4 million and is being paid for out of a 2006 bond.
The last time the school was remodeled was in the early 1990s.
Liberty High School students will perform at Issaquah High School or other local theaters during construction. The original plan would have been to leave the old theater intact during demolition, but the project became bigger and the theater will be demolished this summer.
Phase two of the project, which could include new classroom areas, is dependent on a new bond package, which could go before voters in 2012 at the earliest.
Bassetti Architects were chosen as the architects for the project.
In meetings that are open to the public, the Bond Feasibility and Development Committee met in March and will continue to meet in April from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays at the Issaquah School District administration building, 565 N.W. Holly St., Issaquah.
The next meeting is April 12.