A new White Station


Atrium Concept Designshop/Used With Permission

A new STEM building, an amped up library, a track and field arena: these are just a few structures of Richard Myers’ renovation plans for White Station that were proposed to and accepted by the board.

Richard Myers, father of senior, James Myers, and WSHS graduate, Sam Myers, has been working for three years on renovating White Station High School and Whitehaven High School, and his efforts came to fruition on Tuesday, September 27 when the board voted 9-0 in favor of this project.“I am most excited about the improved learning environment and the message it sends to the community: that we support our students and our schools,” board chairman Caldwell said.

Myers has partnered with the University of Memphis’ architecture graduate student seminar as well as Flintco, a construction company, and Designshop, an architectural design firm, to visualize, price and build his plan. In addition to a STEM building, a renovated library and a track, the plan also includes a two-story parking garage, an atrium, a baseball-softball field and beautified walking areas. The priorities of this plan are the White Station Library Learning Center, green-ing the east annex-main building walkway and creation of the STEM lab and classroom building, which will replace the freshman parking lot. The library will be upgraded to include facilities such as study rooms, a distance-learning room or lecture hall, and new technology (potentially 3D printers). Ideally, heavy construction will begin May 2017, but this will only take place if the desired portion of the project is fully funded.

Past estimates for the entire project lie between $20 million to $30 million; however, Myers must meet with his team to set a final price. Instead of state or SCS-based financial support, funding will come solely from private donors from the Memphis community in exchange for naming rights. Each part of the project will be funded and constructed separately. “Memphis has a charity culture. There are a lot of good people who have formed foundations in Memphis and they live to give that money to worthy projects,” Myers said.  

This type of project has never been done before in the U.S. for public schools, so naturally there are concerns that arise. Many have brought up issues about limited funding as well as fading interest because it will take several years to complete such a massive project. “I don’t want to lose the momentum. I don’t want to lose the manpower,” Carrie Holland said. It will be a long road to completion, but if this project succeeds, it will serve as a model for other schools that want to attempt the same thing.“The whole trick has been to figure out how to persuade private interest, private donors, that they should give to improve public schools. And it’s been a real challenge, but it seems that we’re moving in the right direction,” Myers said.

Library Blueprint
Library Blueprint Designshop/Used With Permission