South County Tech set to add classroooms and secure vestibule in expansion

Southview School also gets a new sidewalk, sign, safety vestibule, among other upgrades


Above, the safety vestibule and new front entrance at Special School District’s North County Technical High School is under construction. South County Tech’s safety vestibule will be a similar project.

By Erin Achenbach, Staff Reporter

The Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen unanimously approved changes to an expansion proposed by the Special School District of St. Louis County at South County Technical High School that will add classrooms and a secure entry vestibule. 

The board voted 8-0 Feb. 9 to approve an amended conditional-use permit for SSD to construct an addition to the existing high school at 12721 W. Watson Road, along with parking lot improvements.

“They are converting one of their maintenance buildings into classroom and office space because they have a need for more space,” said Public Works Director Bryson Baker at a public hearing Jan. 12. The parking lot that surrounds this addition is going to get some striping changes and they’re going to relocate several of the smaller bus stalls in the parking lot. Remaining bus stalls will all be kept as is.

The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval unanimously Dec. 2, and staff also recommended the changes.

SSD’s website now lists the expansion/upgrade plans for South County Tech as follows:

  • New front security entrance/vestibule and office remodel under design
  • Interior updates, including paint and room remodels, updated LED lighting in several areas, and bathroom remodels
  • Exterior updates, including a new roof section, asphalting, parking lot patch and repairs, road widening and a new bio-retention basin
  • Future updates include an office remodel and security vestibule installation, Bridges program space remodel, salt storage building construction, window replacement and elevation upgrades

In fall 2019, aldermen also unanimously approved SSD’s first plans for the South Tech expansion. Those called for the construction of a 1,400-square-foot maintenance shed along with a 2,444-square-foot addition for a secure vestibule and replacement of an existing bus canopy at the school, which provides career and technical education to students throughout South County, including the Mehlville and Lindbergh school districts.

The maintenance shed was built on an old baseball field as phase one of the project, said Steve Quigley with Clayton Engineering. Some small structures had to be removed for the shed. Once complete, the facilities department was slated to use the building for storage and equipment maintenance. No additional landscaping or lighting would be required.

Phase two of the project, to be completed in 2021, includes a security area addition to the school — the 2,444-square-foot addition — along with an administration area remodel and a new bus canopy.

At the July 17, 2019, Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, Assistant City Planner Lynn Sprick said that South County Tech was seeking approval for all its proposed changes at once so it could avoid having to appear before the commission and Board of Aldermen for a second time when the school goes into phase two of the project in 2021. But since changes were made to the plan, that happened anyway.

Southview School sees upgrades

Upgrades are already underway at Southview School, located at 11660 Eddie & Park Road.

  • Student walking path currently in progress
  • Interior updates, including installation of new security camera, remodel of SRO room, new paint, gymnasium updates (paint, divider curtain, padding, and Teraflex flooring)
  • Exterior updates, including a new bio-retention basin

For a gallery of the progress at Southview, see below.