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Heritage staff tour school buildings seeking ideas

A team of Heritage High School staff will travel to Roanoke Monday as they collect ideas for future solutions for Heritage’s building. They plan to visit Patrick Henry and William Fleming high schools, both completed within the last few years.

Last Monday, the group visited two other relatively new schools, one in Glen Allen, near Richmond, and one in Fredricksburg.

Heritage Principal Mark Miear toured Glen Allen and James Monroe high schools along with division Information Technology Director Greg Sullivan and the heads of Heritage’s library, science and career technology departments. Group members discussed their visits with the school’s faculty council on Wednesday.

Science Department Head Alex Drumheller said he was interested to see how the schools laid out their laboratory classrooms and made use of different technology — for example, classes that use “short throw” projectors mounted near the front of the class, rather than at the back.

Drumheller and Miear said they appreciated the idea of designated areas for lockers at James Monroe High School, freeing hallways for students to flow from class to class. Hallway congestion has been an ongoing complaint at Heritage.

Miear also liked the concept of an entrance area that would include the school’s main office. Currently, Heritage’s main office is a floor above the school’s general entrance.

He and the group members hope to visit at least a couple more schools, but those trips have not yet been scheduled.

The Heritage High School Task Force, chaired by City Councilman Michael Gillette, recommended that the school division consider building a new or mostly new Heritage High School at its current location or another site in Lynchburg by 2018.

Lynchburg City School board members decided to enlist the help of an architecture firm to make those choices, before submitting a general plan to council for funding consideration. The board has not yet hired an architect for the project.

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