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Caroline High scales back renovation

The $21 million in renovations planned for Caroline High School will look more like the way they were initially presented to county residents, the School Board decided Monday night.

The renovations will be scaled back to what was originally proposed.

After the board received bids way above the $4 million budget for the Madison Elementary project, they went back to review the scope of the high school project and decided to stick to the original plan.

“I think we need to stick to what we put out last year,” suggested Reedy Church School Board Member Mack Wright Jr.

That includes a new entrance and administration area, a new media center, a 14,000-square-foot gym, new classrooms and additional space for the Career and Technical Education programs.

The gym, for example, is one area where the plans are scaled back. In recent plans, it was going to be 19,000 square feet and seat 2,500 people.

Instead, it will return to the original 14,000 square feet that seats 2,000 people. It also includes replacing the roof, the windows, renovating the current library to become classrooms, renovating the old administration area to become classrooms, replacing the HVAC system, replacing the lighting, replacing parts of the ceiling, electrical upgrades, new intercom/communications system, new paint, locker room, restroom and plumbing upgrades and a new light and sound system for the auditorium.

The board agreed to two changes that differed from the original plan. Instead of three large CTE labs, there will be five smaller classroom spaces.

OWPR CEO and Architect Randy Jones, who is working the with the division on the renovation projects, told the Board that after auditing the CTE programs, they discovered better ways to use the space.

The other change is to the proposed gym. It will be in a separate building from the rest of the school, but be connected by a 30-foot corridor and lobby.

Jones explained in previous meetings that this option would actually be cheaper than adding it on to the school.

He said it can be erected faster and would not interrupt the students while they are in school during construction.

There are also athletic facility improvements planned, including revamping the school’s track to make it blue, and renovating the fieldhouse, the concession stands and the restrooms, and adding footboards to the bleachers.

The board spent a good portion of the meeting talking about the plans for a new HVAC system for the school.

It will cost about $6 million and will get rid of eight units on the roof, which will make room for possible solar panels in the future. The units will be on the ground instead of the roof.

With the new system, there will be more units, and each teacher will be able to control the temperature in each individual classroom.

The division already has one cost estimate, but will seek a second estimate and a final one.

The School Board will likely have drawings to review in September.

Robyn Sidersky: 540/374-5413

rsidersky@freelancestar.com

 

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