Skip to Content

Rutherford County Schools breaks ground on three high school expansion projects

August 29, 2023 · Projects

It was a busy day last Thursday for Rutherford County Schools as local officials and members of the community celebrated with three separate groundbreaking ceremonies for Oakland, Riverdale and Smyrna High Schools.

The school district received funding to conduct all three expansions simultaneously at a combined cost of $156.3 million. The additions will expand the capacity of each school to 2,500 students, with the additions set to be complete in August 2025.

Oakland High School and Riverdale High School

Both Oakland and Riverdale High Schools in Rutherford County were originally constructed in the 1970s, with several changes taking place over the last 50 years. Each of the schools will receive more than 100,000 square feet of new construction, in addition to 39,500 square feet of renovation.

“When designing this project, our team had two main goals in mind. The first being able to accommodate more students in the space, with the new capacity moving from 2,000 to 2,500. The second, and most important, is safety and security of students and teachers on a multi-building campus while creating space for an additional 500+ individuals,” explains GMC Regional Vice President Joseph Binkley. “We brainstormed through ideas, and ultimately landed on a two-story design linking the main building to the various annex buildings, allowing for a safe and secure way for students to get from point A to point B under one roof.”

Additionally, both schools feature a new 600-seat performance auditorium, great hall, corridor commons, biology STEM labs, art rooms, general classrooms, culinary arts expansion, café expansion and guidance office expansion. 

Smyrna High School

Smyrna High School, also in Rutherford County, will have 95,387 square feet of new construction and 16,356 square feet of renovations. This project is anticipated to eliminate nearly 20 portable classrooms on campus with the addition of a second story that will provide more space for classrooms. The building will also feature a new lecture auditorium that will be used for science classrooms, as well as faculty and community meetings.

Smyrna, as well as Oakland and Riverdale, will each receive an expanded dining area and a complete kitchen renovation.

Goodwyn Mills Cawood (GMC) is the project architect for all three projects in Rutherford County, also providing geotechnical engineering services. Consulting engineering firms include Barge Cauthen, civil engineer; Structural Design Group, structural engineer; and IC Thomasson, mechanical, plumbing and electrical engineer. Biscan Construction is serving as the contractor for both Oakland and Riverdale High Schools, with RG Anderson Company completing the construction for Smyrna.