Cobb school board OKs money for Wheeler High makeover

The Cobb County school board voted 7-0 Thursday night to spend $20.3 million to renovate Wheeler High School in East Cobb.

Nearly all the money will come from SPLOST III funds.

The board also voted 6-1 to spend an $1 million to add 250 more seats for a theater project at Lassiter High School.

David Banks, the school board member who represents Lassiter, asked the board to approve additional SPLOST III funding to increase the number of seats from 750 to 1,000.

Banks asked the board to increase the seating capacity as permitted by acoustical and site constraints not to exceed 1,000 seats.

District spokesman Jay Dillon said the theater is part of a construction project at Lassiter which includes renovations to the kitchen, cafeteria, administrative offices, media center, tennis courts relocation, parking lot repaving, heating and air conditioning improvements and new athletic field lighting.

With the additional theater seating, the total project would cost $13 million, instead of $12.1 million, Dillon said.  The project will still  come in under the estimated $16.2 million budget, because of favorable conditions due to the downturn in the construction industry.

The theater will be used as a districtwide performance venue, according to the board's agenda, which noted that McEachern High School is the only school in the district with a theater that exceeds 700 seats.