Lake Braddock Secondary's interior has all the signs of a major transformation.
When the school was constructed in the early 1970s, it was designed with the open-classroom concept in mind. As years passed and school officials abandoned that concept, temporary walls were installed to divide the space into classrooms. Now those same walls have been ripped out to make way for a new set of permanent walls.
Lake Braddock will now have "real walls and doors," said Kevin Sneed, FCPS assistant director of design and construction.
"This is a unique renovation, you're not really taking anything down," Sneed said.
Principal Linda Burke said the main feature of the renovation was improving the "traffic flow." The closed classrooms and additional halls will improve student's access. Lauren MacTaggert, an upcoming junior, experienced the influx of people in the halls between classes.
"It definitely takes 10 minutes to go from one end to another," Lauren said.
Although Lake Braddock is the biggest school Fairfax County has renovated so far, Sneed said that the work will be easier than other renovations because of the open classrooms.
The renovation will also switch the middle-school portion of the building with that of the high-school part. In addition, six media centers are being fused into one, several classrooms are being added, and two separate buildings are being established for alternate education.
THE PROJECT is now scheduled to be completed in four years at a price tag of $55 million, according to county web site. It will be completed in phases, with most of the students going to trailers for one part of the year.
Henley Construction is the only contractor for the whole project, which is different from other renovations in which several contractors are used on different phases. The project is on one bond as well. Burke thinks this will expedite the project.
"[Henley] will be with us for the entire project," said Dave Thomas, the assistant principal.
The media center, science and math wing will be built in the area around existing Subschools 1 and 2. A choral room, music wing, storage and health rooms will be added in Phase 1. Over 50 teachers will be relocated to trailers on the front median and blacktop.
Plumbing, new addition foundations and electrical system rewiring are being started this summer.
"It's good for the school, for the kids," said Khanim Rasulova, whose son Rauf will be a junior at Lake Braddock in the fall. "It's better to spend lots of money for our future."
"There's a lot of challenges with the renovation," said Jim Carter, a guidance counselor who was leaving Lake Braddock for another school.
"These are all going to be closed classrooms," said Carter, standing amid a room full of dangling wires, ripped out walls and clutter. Carter looked at the trailers, which will be utilized by the middle-school students first and then high-school students.
"We got 4,000 kids here. You can't do this easily," Carter said.
Deanna Ward, 17, will be a senior in September, so she won't get to experience the final product, but knows how the temporary walls effected the learning environment.
"You can easily get distracted, you can hear what's going on in the next class," Deanna said.