It's been a busy spring so far at the construction site for the new middle school being built on Dover Center Road between and .
The walls for the gymnasium are up and the roof is on, said David Puffer, the supervisor for construction projects for Westlake City Schools. The facade, which will include red bricks in a nod to the old Red Brick School, is beginning to be put up on the gym walls.
Energy efficiency is a key part of the design in both the middle school and also under construction, Puffer said.
Each classroom will have windows that can open for ventilation. Lighting near the windows can be turned off when it's bright enough outside, saving electricity, Puffer said. Designing the buildings to have interior courtyards bring in more light.
More efficient heating and cooling will be used, he added. The district recently had to replace the boiler at Lee Burneson Middle School, Puffer said, and the improvement in energy efficiency is startling.
"We went from a boiler that was 61 percent efficient to one that's 95 percent efficient and takes up less space," he said.
When the new middle school opens in the fall of 2013, the existing Lee Burneson Middle School will become an elementary school. The district is considering options for its elementary schools, which may include closing one or more of them and renovating others, Puffer said.
"That's Phase II," he said.