Plans to update Central Junior High don't match the proposals made by school officials when they sold a $63 million bond issue to the community.
The issue included $4 million in improvements at CJHS. Originally, the school was expected to receive six new classrooms and a new competition gym, all in a new addition for the building.
But the latest plans include a gymnasium, and one added classroom, with other classes carved out of renovated space.
"It's the best solution for what we have now," Principal Frank Harwood said.
A public forum on the plans is set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the school.
"We just need to have a reasonable explanation for what we're doing," school board member Sue Morgan said.
Some Lawrence residents are wary of the changing plans.
"If they're changing the process, maybe they need to look at the whole bond issue," said David Holroyd, who ran in the last school board election to oppose the bond issue, eventually dropping out of the race. "Maybe they're doing it all wrong."
Instead of building new space, planners are focusing on renovating existing space.
A new gymnasium on the northeast side of the building will have a new boys' locker room and public restrooms, allowing administrators to close off the rest of the school during after-hours events.
The new locker room and restrooms cost money that could be used for additional classroom space, said Tom Bracciano, the district's operations and facility planning director.
Other changes include converting the historic Duver Gym - originally planned to be a back-up gym after construction - into classroom space.
"We think we've found something that will work," Bracciano said.
The district has tweaked other bond project plans, and that's common in the planning process, Bracciano said.
At the new South Junior High, for example, planners originally expected a new school would be one story. The latest plan has two stories.
"I think it's important to have that little bit of flexibility in there," Bracciano said.
The project is expected to begin in the spring and be completed by fall 2007.