HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - North Myrtle Beach High School is preparing for its multi-million dollar makeover.
"Things haven't really been updated for 40 years," said Trevor Strawderman, principal of North Myrtle Beach High School
After the conditions of all of the district's schools were assessed several years ago, Strawderman said North Myrtle Beach High School was put at the top of a renovation priority list. He said the building is structurally sound, but the it's behind the times.
"It was a good financial decision just to renovate what we have as opposed to tripling the price and building a new school," he said.
Meanwhile, within the school's 40-year history, the student body has doubled and technology has advanced.
"For example, in the science labs things were outdated. Things just didn't work," he said. "Our auditorium. We were just behind."
Horry County Board of Education members approved the $21,086,340 price tag back in June. This week, they approved the use of an integrated project delivery method rather than a design-bid-build method to increase efficiency.
The outside of the school needs some work, so nearly $1 million will be spent on adding parking, enhancing traffic patterns, doing landscaping and improving drainage.
More than $3 million will go into improving classrooms, adding science and computer labs, increasing the space in the cafeteria and also redoing the auditorium, which has stayed the same for 40 years.
"Being able to use some of the newer equipment, the newer lighting, it's going to expand what they can do with the productions and their experiences of being in our groups," said Van Clark, band and orchestra director at NMBHS.
Another $9 million is dedicated to building system repairs, such as replacing the HVAC and electrical systems.
"We know that new heating and air replacing a 40-year old unit we think is going to be a tremendous difference," Principal Strawderman said.
Teachers and students will have to work around the renovation, which Principal Strawderman estimates will take 18 months. He said the major projects, like the auditorium and cafeteria, will be saved for summer.
He said he thinks the renovation will tentatively start in January.
The school district is still working to secure a contractor, who will then finalize project dates, said Mark Wolfe, executive director of facilities for Horry County Schools.