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Report assesses Amherst school division's buildings, suggested needs to tackle in upcoming budgets

Report assesses Amherst school division's buildings, suggested needs to tackle in upcoming budgets

Photo: emx_20200611_amh_news_achs_p1

A Coleman-Adams Construction worker on the new roof above the new entrance to Amherst County High School in June as part of recent work done to reconfigure the school's front office area. 

An assessment of Amherst County Public Schools’ facilities and potential upgrades that could eventually find spots in the division’s capital improvement and maintenance plans recently went before the county’s school board.

Joshua Bower, of Charlottesville-based Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates Architects, presented the study during the board’s regular July meeting. No project price tags were outlined as the list is preliminary and no decisions have been made.

Bower is expected to present a more in-depth report to the board this month. Superintendent Rob Arnold has said the study would guide the board as it makes capital improvement decisions in upcoming budgets.

The capital plan has $329,000 in unobligated spending, Arnold recently told the Amherst County Board of Supervisors. Carryover money at the end of the fiscal year on June 30 typically is designated for the CIP but this year, because of the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, supervisors granted use of that money for the schools’ operational budget with the understanding potential additional state and federal relief money would go toward capital improvement needs.

Arnold has said all of the division’s buildings except for two, Madison Heights Elementary and the Amherst Education Center, exceed 40 years in age.

The study presents measures for school officials to consider taking within the next five years and others in the next decade. Finding ways to improve parking, sidewalks and curbs around entrances is a measure recommended for all six elementary schools, the two middle schools and high school in the next five to 10 years, according to the report.

The board also recently discussed a separate project of renovating space in Amherst County High School for a new auditorium, a project school officials have said is long overdue, but no price tags or firm decisions have been yet come forward on that topic.

The following are the suggested actions as they appear in the company’s written report. The Amherst County School Board at this point is reviewing the suggested items and has not yet discussed budgetary decisions regarding their placement in any upcoming CIP or maintenance plans.

Temperance Elementary School

Zero to five years: Repair playground fence, gutters and downspouts; install American with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible ramp at entrance.

Five to 10 years: Replace exterior windows and joint sealants and replace/repair exterior doors, make bathrooms ADA accessible, install mixing valves, replace aged electrical panels and add some fire alarm devices.

Madison Heights Elementary School

Zero to five years: Regrade slope and repair damaged foundation, floor slab and wall; improve direct vision from the reception to main office as part of security; replace domestic water heaters, install mixing valves and replace broken clocks.

Five to 10 years: Recoat original roof, replace joint sealants, repair gutter and downspouts; make bathrooms and doorknobs to classrooms ADA accessible and add fire alarm devices.

Elon Elementary School

Zero to five years: Perform some brick repointing and replace joint sealants.

Five to 10 years: Address some rust on steel lintels, replace exterior windows, replace/repair exterior doors and make bathrooms ADA accessible.

Central Elementary School

Zero to five years: Perform some brick repointing and cleaning needed, replace sealants, repair gutter and downspouts.

Five to 10 years: Replace exterior windows, repair/replace exterior doors, make classrooms’ bathrooms ADA accessible and perform electric work that includes replacing branch panels and circuits.

Amherst Elementary School

Zero to five years: Perform some brick repointing and cleaning needed, repair gutter and downspouts.

Five to 10 years: Replace exterior windows, repair/replace exterior doors; make classroom bathrooms and school’s stage ADA accessible, replace door hardware, install mixing valves at lavatories, replace toilet fixtures.

Amelon Elementary School

Zero to five years: Perform some brick repointing and cleaning needed, repair gutter and downspouts.

Five to 10 years: Replace exterior windows, repair/replace exterior doors, replace some door hardware, make classroom bathrooms ADA accessible, install mixing valves at lavatories, replace electric panels and add fire alarm devices.

Amherst Middle School

Zero to five years: Regrade slope and repair damaged foundation, floor slab and wall.

Five to 10 years: Perform some brick repointing and cleaning needed, repair gutter and downspouts, replace exterior windows, replace door hardware, make bathrooms ADA accessible, install mixing valves at lavatories, replace some toilet fixtures and install additional fire alarm devices.

Monelison Middle School

Zero to five years: Perform some brick repointing and cleaning needed, repair gutter and downspouts, replace domestic water heaters, install mixing valves, replace exterior lighting and controls, replace public announcement system.

Five to 10 years: Replace exterior windows, repair/replace exterior doors and make bathrooms ADA accessible.

Amherst County High School

Zero to five years: Perform some brick repointing and cleaning needed, repair gutter and downspouts; replace kitchen exhaust fan, install cooling in information technology room; address aged piping, install mixing valves in lavatories, replace water heaters, install additional fire alarm device, replace public announcement system, replace network cabling and replace panels and feeders as part of electrical work

Five to 10 years: Replace exterior windows, repair/replace exterior doors and make some bathrooms ADA accessible. At Lancer Stadium, repair parking lot and restripe spaces, add handrails to bleacher stairs and improve ADA accessibility from bleachers to parking lot area and bathrooms.

Amherst Education Center

Five to 10 years: Address some cracking at curbs.

Bus garage

Five to 10 years: Expand bus bay to accommodate larger buses and replace roofing and windows.

Reach Justin Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.

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