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What is the new Middle School Project?
The Valdez City School District and the City of Valdez have identified a need for a new more efficient and flexible middle school to replace the aging junior high school, which was constructed in 1965.

The new Gilson Middle School will be built at the same location of the existing George H. Gilson Junior High School, which will be demolished. An existing Wood Shops building will be demolished and wood working classes will be relocated within the new Middle School’s Career & Technical Education space.

Also, the existing Bus Barn Maintenance Shop will be demolished. The site will be regraded so that the floor elevation of the new School is as close to the existing High School floor level as possible, while still providing proper water drainage. The existing football field and track will be renovated and improved at its approximate current elevation and location.

The new 56,125 square foot, one-story tall Middle School has an occupancy of Group E, Educational, and is Construction Type II-B with automatic sprinklers throughout.

The key components of the design were formulated during the creation of the Educational Specifications which evolved through a series of planning labs lead by our consultant, DeJong-Ritcher. The planning labs were held with broad-based representation from the Valdez schools, as well as community members, parents, teachers, school administrators and students.

The project was designed within the following parameters:
a. The school will accommodate approximately 160 students.
b. The gross square footage of the new school is defined by Alaska Statute 4 AAC 31.020 and is based on an agreement with the State of Alaska D.E.E.D. for the replacement of the existing Valdez Junior High School.
c. The new school will be constructed on the existing combined Valdez Junior High and High School site, with the existing High School to remain in operation during the construction of the new Middle School.

Project Goals guiding the design process:
1. Clear Identity
2. Safe and Inviting
3. Adaptable
4. Flexible
5. Durable, Maintainable Materials and Systems
6. Energy Efficient
7. Provide Community Use/Accommodate Public Needs

New Gilson Middle School Project

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1. What is the new Middle School Project?
2. When will it be built?
3. How do I stay informed with the latest project news?
4. What spaces will be included in the new Middle School?
5. How much will it cost? How is the project funded?
6. Will my taxes go up to build the new School?
7. Will the pool be closed?