New Bloomfield Hills High School Revealed

Designers show members of the Bloomfield Hills Schools Board of Education and the public what a 21st Century education experience will look like.


The new Bloomfield Hills High School reached a major milestone Thursday as designers and construction officials presented their final schematic for what the new building will look like when ready in 2015.

Representatives from architects SHW Group and construction engineers from Barton Malow showcased both the exterior and interior of the building on the Andover High School site that will house roughly 1,600 students, to the board and members of the public gathered at the Doyle Center. Both Andover and Lahser high schools will officially merge next fall and will be located at the Lahser and Hickory Grove buildings during a two-year transition period.

"It's very exciting now because it’s starting to take shape and look like something," School Board President Ingrid Day said.

See the attached PDF of the schematic design presentation or visit the district's website for the full presentation.

The Highlights:

  • The schematic calls for seven 'learning community' centers, where teachers will not longer be fixed to a classroom, but can instead instruct collaboratively with teachers in other classrooms. These areas will have soft-seating and smaller work areas where students can work in groups.
  • A multi-level media center located at the heart of the new building with space for 18,000 volumes of books.
  • An 800-seat auditorium with a stage, balcony seating and sophisticated sound and lighting equipment.
  • Three separate music rooms with ample storage to accommodate the school's choir, orchestra and band programs.
  • A new gym with a main performance floor, and three cross-court spaces. It will have 1,700 bleachers and will be connected to new locker rooms.
  • A nanotorium with a 12-lane pool, diving wells and seating for 500.
  • Energy-saving mechanical systems and more use of natural light.


What's Next?:

A representative with Barton Malow, the district's construction project manager, said the current cost for the project appears to be between two and three percent above budget. Cost increases were expected once the architects began filling in details, but officials with Barton Malow and SHW said they will meet next week and create an updated cost estimate for the board that gets the project back on  budget.

The bid period to begin prepping part of the current Andover High School for demolition should be open in February.

The remainder of construction bids will be opened in May, with recommendations likely to the board for approval in June, officials said.

Neal Charness December 14, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Barr may have medical credentials but his post suggests he knows about education. I'm afraid he's yet to demonstrate that he has an educational background other than attending school at some point in the past. I should hope our school has a "designer." I believe they're called architects.
J Arch December 15, 2012 at 01:37 PM
And unlike Dr. Barr and Mr. Moigis, I am an architect (and have been for 30 years) and I can attest to the soundness of the design of the new high school. It uses principles that have been in practice in other types of interactive facility uses, including schools and particularly colleges and universities, for several years now. Collaboration, teaming and multi-disciplinary environments are the way in which the world now works and it's exciting that Bloomfield will have a high school that better prepares our students for that reality. In terms of cost, these kinds of building environments are also less expensive to build than the traditional style compartmentalized spaces that you see in older schools because you don't have to distribute and zone things like power, HVAC, communications, etc. to as many individual spaces. These newer environments are also more space efficient because of their flexibility to accommodate multiple types of functions in the same space. As for the comments by Dr. Barr and Mr. Moigis, sour grapes is all I can say. J. Wagner
Charlie C March 12, 2013 at 08:55 PM
Wagner - if you had to justify this with a payback analysis could you? Of course who has to do a payback analysis when the taxpayers are going to be paying for it whether they agree or not?
J Arch March 12, 2013 at 11:42 PM
Charlie C, absolutely I could walk you thru an analysis that shows that construction of a new high school is a superior return on investment compared to the status quo of pouring more money into the existing high school buildings to maintain them in their current condition. I went thru that thought process before throwing my support behind the new high school proposal. That is the bottom line to this discussion. J. Wagner
Frank Laurinec March 14, 2013 at 12:33 PM
Dear Mr. C, A payback analysis was done before the last vote on the bond. Rob Glass made it clear in the numerous community forums that he held that, running the combined high school would save slightly more than $2 million dollars per year over the current high school configuration. Recall that right now we have an exceptionally large number of bus runs in order to provide students with the classes they want. The cost of fuel and wear and tear on the buses is an obvious beginning to the savings that we will realize with a unified high school. If you go back and examine the early documentation provided by Fielding Nair and Barton Malow, all made available to the public before the bond vote, you will see the numbers and how the savings will be realized. As for paying for something you agree with or not, that's democracy. Many Americans, through their local, state and federal taxes end up supporting programs that they may not agree with because, in a democracy, majority rules. For instance, a 20 year old may not like the fact that 7.5% of every paycheck goes to Social Security, along with a similar amount from their employer. They might want to invest that money in another way or simply spend it as they wish, but they are taxed for it anyway because, as a society, the majority have decided that we want to keep the elderly from slipping into poverty. Democracy. Frank J. Laurinec, Jr. Teacher, Lahser High School Immediate Past President of the BHEA


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