The Belton ISD Board of Trustees has unanimously approved schematics for an orchestra addition to Belton High School.

At a Monday evening meeting, the board agreed to an addition of 3,200 square feet for a dedicated orchestra rehearsal hall, sectional room, and three practice rooms, as well as renovations to 1,200 square feet of existing band hall, instructor office space, and the current music library.

“Our Belton High School Orchestra program is an important, high-achieving program for our students and their families,” Board President Sue Jordan said. “The schematic design approved tonight reaffirms our commitment to offering strong fine arts educational opportunities in high-quality instructional spaces.”

The space is sure to be welcome by the growing number of students participating in Belton High's orchestral program, which hasn't had a permanent home on the Belton High campus in over a decade.

“The district’s orchestra program started with a small number of students in the fall of 2007,” Superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon said. “Today, more than 250 students participate in the program, and over the last several months, district, campus, and fine arts staff have provided input on this plan to relocate this thriving fine arts program to the main campus.”

According to BISD spokeswoman Elizabeth Cox, Belton Middle School was re-purposed to a ninth-grade center in the fall of 2014, and Belton High School’s orchestra program began to use that campus' band hall. When Lake Belton High School opens in the fall of 2020, the Belton High orchestra will no longer have a designated instructional space at Belton High School. Realizing this, the board’s Capital Improvement Projects document was updated in April 2018 to include a fine arts facilities addition for Belton High's orchestra program.

In November 2018, the board approved a contract with O’Connell Robertson Architects for the new orchestra addition with a plan to have it complete and available to Belton's young musicians by fall of 2020, when Belton High's orchestra program will be relocated to the main campus.

In plans submitted to the board, O’Connell Robertson described the design for the addition as providing “the most floor plan space within the allowable expansion area,” with the additional enhancement of a “contemporary design solution” for the main entry to the Belton High School campus. (See their rendering of the new entryway below.)

The estimated project cost for the orchestra addition is $1.4 million.

O’Connell Robertson Architects