School System Considers Country Home Expansion for Salem High School | Education

Salem student-athletes could benefit from an upgrade to some of the facilities they use in high school, according to school officials.

The school system outlined current plans to expand the Salem High School grounds, a project with an expected cost of about $3.7 million, school officials told city council at a meeting. joint this week.

The current country house was completed shortly after Salem High School was built in the late 1970s, when it was still part of Roanoke County. Superintendent Curtis Hicks said he was unaware of many renovations made to the 10,000-square-foot building since its completion, except for some fairly recent upgrades to the HVAC system.

Hicks said there were several reasons to start the project as soon as possible.

The school system could update its renovation project currently underway at the high school to include the country house, which would save about $300,000 in costs, he said.

“The cost savings associated with the presence of G&H [Contracting] on site right now, instead of having to bid and another construction company stepping in and coming in with another superintendent on site and handling the job, that would save us about 10%,” he said. -he declares.

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Additionally, the price of many building materials is still inflated by the COVID-19 pandemic and may continue to rise, which could further increase the price of the project which is on hold, according to Michael Mauceri, a project manager at RRMM Architects. who is working on the country house plan.

Hicks said the project would allow more teams to use the facility at once.

“We have about 30 teams in high school and all of them would have a designated spot on campus with the completion of this project,” he said.

The addition would more than double the building’s current square footage, adding another weight room, additional locker rooms, expanded workout room space and additional storage space, according to the school system’s presentation Monday.

Hicks said that while the project starts in the next few months, barring any hiccups in the construction schedule, completion of the land expansion could coincide with the completion of renovations to the high school’s main building.

He also noted that the current country house would remain in use throughout the project.

The funding would largely come from the school system’s capital improvement fund, which is made up of leftover school budget money at the end of each fiscal year, Hicks said.

“We think we can use about 3.1 or 3.2 million of that fund for the project, so we’re asking the council for about $400,000,” he said.

The council is expected to make a decision on its share of the funding by mid-November for the project to start in the next few months, as there is design work and other administrative work that needs to be completed before it begins.

Councilor Bill Jones said he was in favor of the funds being approved next month if they were on the agenda, and said he thought the rest of the board seemed receptive to the idea as well. Monday evening.

“I think it’s way too late and I think we need to spread the kids out more than they are. We have to give everyone their fair section,” he said. “And although we are already making these upgrades and have the money to do it, we should be doing it.”

Jeremy S. McLain