On Oct. 22, architects Rancorn Wildman released a revised two-school design plan that includes a major shift from previous plans at the high school.
“The original concept had construction taking place at two locations at that site,” said Superintendent Dr. Greg Smith, adding that the former plans placed the new eighth- and ninth-grade classroom wing on one side of the facility with a gym and auditorium on the opposite end.
“We decided it would be more cost efficient to have it at one site and not to encroach on the Eastern end onto the football field,” Smith said.
That decision resulted in the savings of approximately $800,000, which were the estimated costs to relocate the current field, stands, lights and other associated structures.
“Those cost savings can then be reflected in the technology in the buildings, the track complex, bathroom facilities as well as many other areas,” he said.
During a recent school board meeting, Smith also noted that the new plans are similar to another project that just went out to bid.
“That project was bid out at $110 a square foot. Our budget is $130,” Smith said, noting that he felt encouraged that Richmond County could receive similarly competitive bids.
“The concepts we had are beginning to become real now and we are molding the plans to get everything that we want,” Smith said.
According to a document released by the architect on Monday, the proposed scope of work going out to bid now includes the addition of 22,000 to 24,000 square feet to be located to the north of the existing elementary school.
Those site plans include a single-story classroom addition for the sixth and seventh grades, Physical Education locker rooms off of the bathroom facilities and a Music/Art classroom.
The administrative area will be relocated to the front of the building, adjacent to the main entry, cafeteria seating area will be expanded, the existing administration area will be renovated for use as support spaces, existing lighting will be replaced throughout the existing school and all of the walls will be re-painted.
At the current high school, an additional 60,000 to 65,000 square feet will be added to the south of the existing school including a lobby, auditorium, music classroom, gymnasium, athletic locker rooms, and classrooms.
The cafeteria will be expanded and there will be several renovations to science classrooms, the media center and the locker rooms.
An enhanced security area will be constructed at the schools entrance and the existing interior walls will be re-painted.
Additional parking at both schools are planned as well as road improvements for busses to pick up and drop off students at both schools.
Multiple athletic projects are also included in the new draft, including renovating the existing little league fields for use as varsity softball, JV baseball, and JV softball and a new, eight-lane synthetic track with a soccer field inside.
“We expect all of that work at the to be completed before the start of the spring 2012 season,” Smith said regarding the softball and baseball fields.
He noted that the entire project was “continuous on the bids coming in at satisfactory rates.”
The project is scheduled to go to bid this January. Supervisors have capped the project at $15 million.