Band hall, bathrooms in BHS plans

Published 9:52 pm Friday, February 28, 2020

With 150 members, it’s well known among the musically inclined at Brookhaven High School that space is at a premium in the band hall and has been for some time. On Tuesday, the Brookhaven School District Board of Trustees reviewed plans drafted by architect Steve Cox to give the band some elbow room.

“We’ve got several things going on here,” Cox said in the meeting. “The band hall is way too small. So what we’re looking at doing is putting a new band hall across the road toward the practice field that will have enough space for the whole band to play in there at the same time.”

A new and improved band hall is just one of several major construction projects in planning stages at Brookhaven High School and throughout the district. Money for these upgrades comes from an $8 million bond bill approved by eligible voters in May. District wide, the budget for construction projects is more than $7.4 million.

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Additional projects at BHS include a covered walkway between King Field and the Brookhaven Technical Center, a new entryway into the field and renovated bathrooms.

“With a baby changing table I’ve been trying to get for 10 years,” Board Vice Chairperson Erin Smith said in the meeting.

“Don’t let me forget,” Cox agreed.

To make room for the new bathrooms, the concession stands will be relocated under the bleachers. When Board Chairperson Lucy Shell asked Cox if there would be enough space, Cox said that the new concession stands would be larger. However, Smith raised concerns at the meeting that the volunteers working at the concession stands wouldn’t be able to watch games or band performances.

“So if you’re a concession stand worker and your kid’s in the band, you’re not going to be able to see what’s going on,” Smith said.

“I’m sorry,” Cox said with a shrug. Cox said in the meeting that — beyond leaving the stands where they are — there isn’t room anywhere else to put them.

“Y’all don’t want 100 band moms on y’all — I’m just telling you in advance,” Smith said.

“I understand, I’ve run into that same complaint before,” Cox said. “But sometimes you’ve got to go where you’ve got to go. This is great space that’s unused.”

Smith suggested in the meeting that the concession stands could be installed with television monitors. Plans for the construction projects across the district are not yet finalized, and while Cox gave an estimate of over $7.2 million — currently under budget — he warned that it was a very rough estimate. Cox presented the plans to the board to give them a chance to voice concerns so revisions could be made.