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Weather delays Caroline school renovation plans

The renovation and expansion of Madison Elementary in Caroline County likely will not start until late July, about a month later than planned.

In a news release issued Friday, the school system said a survey of the property had been delayed by three weeks due to severe and extended winter weather. The purchase of property needed for the expansion will not be finalized until mid-May.

Subject to School Board approval, the project will be advertised for bids on June 11. Bids will be opened on July 10 and will be presented to the School Board for approval on July 14. Once awarded, work will begin on the project in late July. The project will be completed by August of 2015.

The school was built in the 1950s and last renovated in 2004.

The planned improvements include constructing a new secure entrance with an expanded lobby, expanding the cafeteria, adding four new classrooms, adding two new computer labs and constructing a newly paved pickup–dropoff area for school buses.

This project will give the school an additional 14,000 square feet of space.

The planned upgrade of outdoor athletic facilities at Caroline High School will be advertised for bids on May 13. Bids will be opened May 27. Work is expected to begin June 2.

The plans include upgrading the bleachers, resurfacing the asphalt on the track, relocating the long/high jump, renovating the restrooms, expanding and renovating the field house and upgrading the fields.

The project is expected to be completed by September.

The renovation and expansion of the high school itself won’t start until late September and will take until August 2016 to complete.

The project will be advertised for bids Aug. 13. Bids will be opened Sept. 11.

The renovations to the school, which was built in 1975, include new classrooms; new electrical service; an updated intercom system; new locker rooms, restrooms and plumbing upgrades; painting throughout; new lighting and sound systems for the auditorium; and a new administrative area, media center, 2,500-seat gym, new classrooms and three vocational labs.

The capacity at the high school will grow from 1,100 to 1,800 students.

The renovations will total about $25 million—$21 million for the high school and $4 million for the elementary school.

The spending was approved through a bond referendum last November. Eighty-one percent of voters approved the measure.

The renovations will add 8 cents per $100 of assessed value to the current real estate tax rate, in addition to three more cents for another county project.

At a special meeting on April 28, the School Board tabled the decision about whom to hire to manage the school renovation projects.

Schools Superintendent Greg Killough told the board that he was recommending the same firm, DMC, that he recommended at the previous board meeting, on April 14. At that meeting, the board voted 4–2 to reject the recommendation.

At the April 28 meeting, Director of Maintenance Geoffrey Honan said that the key individual with DMC would be David McConnell.

McConnell was the project manager for the Bowling Green Elementary project, which has had minor issues, even though it opened in the fall. For example, the School Board was not satisfied with the flooring in the cafeteria and the hallways.

Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413