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FAYETTEVILLE -- The School Board approved conceptual designs Thursday for a new middle school.

The board voted 7-0 in support of the schematics for the school, which will be off Rupple Road and will serve about 800 fifth- and sixth-graders, according to Megan Duncan, support services associate superintendent.

Lewis Architects Engineers of Little Rock developed the designs for the school, according to supporting documents.

Some of the school's features will include multiple outdoor play areas with hard and soft surfaces and a covered space for outdoor learning, room for outdoor environmental learning, a music room and a dining hall with a stage, said Clayton Vaden, an architect for Lewis Architects Engineers.

More unique attributes to the design feature second-floor learning pods with balconies that overlook the play areas and a media room that took student recommendations for the space into consideration, he said.

Students expressed a desire to have a media room with the light and airy feel of a coffee shop, Vaden said.

The use of windows that extend almost from the floor to the ceiling has helped contribute to that intent, he said. Large windows also factor into the design of the dining hall, Vaden said, explaining they will feature window boxes in which students can look out and view the play area.

The size of the school is yet to be determined, Duncan said, and will be solidified as the designs continue to be refined.

The guaranteed maximum price of project will be voted on at the May 2021 School Board meeting, she said.

Construction on the school will begin after the School Board approves the guaranteed maximum price and is anticipated to conclude in April 2023, Duncan said.

Mary Jordan can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at [email protected]

Print Headline: Fayetteville board OKs designs for new school

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