Trenum Teases New Hybrid Design for 13th County High School

| October 15, 2015 | 0 Comments | Education
Brentsville District School Board member Gil Trenum at the Sept. 4, 2013 Prince William County School Board Meeting.

Brentsville District School Board member Gil Trenum hopes the School Board will consider a hybrid of the Patriot High School and Battlefield High School designs for the new high school in his district.

Brentsville District School Board member Gil Trenum took to social media to chime in on the ongoing debate of the design of the 13th Prince William County high school yesterday by introducing a hybrid design that would offer more space for students, but offer more modest features than Patriot High School.

“I rarely post on Facebook, but the design of the 13th high school is a topic of great interest and I feel that it is important that people know my thoughts on the matter,” Trenum said in a post in several education groups.

Last year, the school board decided to approve a modified version of the Battlefield design for the new school; however, at the Oct. 7 meeting, they revisited the debate.

The issue will again come before the Board this week as they formally decide how to proceed.

“I am eager to review this new proposal in detail with my fellow school board members and see if we have managed to find a win-win solution producing a building meeting all the current guidelines with a price tag that makes us good stewards of taxpayer dollars,” he said.

Associate Superintendent of Finance and Support Services Dave Cline warned board members that a decision must be reached by November in order for the new school to open by Sept. 2020.

Concerned about the design and construction costs of the new school and how quickly it could become overcrowded, Trenum proposed a third design that addresses these issues.

“I’ve spent the past couple of weeks working with staff on finding an option ‘C’ for the 13th high school. I am cautiously optimistic to announce that our staff and the architects have come up with a hybrid design that adds 504 seats for a total capacity of 2557 students AND shaves several million dollars off of the design (think Toyota vs. Lexus),” Treum said.”This new hybrid design keeps the Patriot layout with its larger classrooms but has a more modest presentation that would have come with Battlefield design.”

Furthermore, he indicated that this new design is the most cost-effective option of the three.

“These reductions combined with additional student capacity significantly reduces the cost per student to a level below what even I thought we could achieve and lower than what we would see with building the Battlefield model,” he said. “I have argued that in tight budget times prioritizing architectural bells and whistles is a huge mistake, especially when we are consistently saying that we don’t have enough resources to address priorities like reducing class sizes or caseloads for our special education staff.”

He estimates that this design has a 25% increase in capacity and costs nearly $3 million less than the Patriot design.

“We would spend less per student on this new Hybrid high school than we spent on Patriot and Battlefield, freeing up those CIP funds for updating some of our older schools,” he said. ” Those dollars spent on bells and whistles could instead be spent on updating our older schools and keeping other CIP projects on schedule.”

The school division will post more details of the new design proposal on their website Thursday.

Trenum said he is interested in hearing the opinions of residents on his proposal and shared his email address,

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