Architects show options for high school gymnasium building renovations
The Morgan County School Board viewed designs and cost estimates for two options to the Berkeley Springs High School Building C (gymnasium building) NEEDS renovations project at their November 5 meeting.
In addition to drawings, schematics and cost estimates for the original project as submitted to the School Building Authority, Greg Williamson and Bill Ratcliffe of Williamson Shriver Architects presented designs and estimates for a west entry alternative and two north entry designs.
The cost estimate for the original project was $4,023,690. The west entry alternative was estimated at almost $6.35 million and the north entry scheme was placed at more than $6,576 million.
However, the architects’ estimates for the two options included the $665,000 roof replacement that was mistakenly left in, which affected certain fees and percentages. The revised option costs weren’t available by press time.
The school board received $2.2 million from the West Virginia School Building Authority for the original project.
The architects had been asked what could be done with the building if money wasn’t an issue and they considered school needs, said School Superintendent David Banks.
Banks said they talked with Berkeley Springs High School Principal Lance Fox and Athletic Director Chad Brinegar about the building’s issues, which included a 12-foot hallway which got very tight when hundreds of people were there for big events and were trying to access the concession stand and restrooms.
While it wasn’t a structural issue, there was still talk about getting the weight room off the second floor, Banks said. They were also considering ways to refigure the locker rooms and move the concession stand to an outside wall where it could be vented.
With the west entry option, a large lobby would be created and the entrance vestibule would be expanded outwards with the new restrooms built out on either side. The concession stand would be moved to a corner outside wall.
The corridor would extend around the building so everything could be accessed without going through the gymnasium, Williamson said.
The renovations would include four locker rooms and four offices. A weight room, training room and a storage room addition would be constructed.
In one north entry option, there were three locker rooms and offices on the first floor with the fourth team locker room upstairs in the present weight room.
The second option had a locker room addition. The room could also be moved to the football field, Williamson said. The weight/training room addition and concession room move were included in both north entry options.
Principal Lance Fox suggested the north entry option, which allowed the building entrance to be seen from the new main building reception area.
The original project included gym floor and bleacher replacements, restroom/ shower renovations, a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, new acoustical ceilings and lighting, interior door and exterior window and door replacements, new lockers, fire alarm upgrades, electrical work and data and telephone system renovations.
Other work included cleaning exterior masonry, new gutters and downspouts, new signage and visual display boards, painting and making the building handicapped-accessible.
If any project options were appealing to the board as a long-term goal, they needed to consider them before any renovations were done that would have to be torn out later to do that work, Williamson said.
Superintendent Banks said that the north and west entry options considered many school needs. However, they presented significant changes to the original project. Banks felt they should look at all building options before proceeding.
Ratcliffe, who previously worked for the School Building Authority, thought the school board would have to return the NEEDS project money and resubmit the project if they chose one of the new options over the original project. It may be different if the work was funded locally.
There were questions as to whether the School Building Authority would look favorably on an option if it was submitted as a Major Improvement Project as a later phase of the project.
Board member Aaron Close asked about the time frame involved in these options. Williamson said the $4 million portion of the work could be done in eight or nine months, but the phased options would take probably 18 months.
School board member Pat Springer asked what was going on with the second floor band room and piano lab. Williamson said that they may have some ceiling work or some small work in those areas, but there would be no major renovations or moving walls.
Board president David Ambrose inquired about the project’s 4% contingency percentage. Williamson said that was to cover costs when contractors come up against things that were unexpected.