FRONT ROYAL – Warren County Public Schools Superintendent Greg Drescher updated the School Board on the delay in renovations at A.S. Rhodes Elementary School during a meeting on Wednesday.
The $3 million project was set to begin at the end of June but was delayed due to the district only receiving one bid totaling $6,591,000 from construction company Lantz Construction in Winchester. The renovations were set to be completed by the end of next summer.
The renovations included replacing and adding HVAC equipment, replacing the roof, relocating the office to the front entrance, reconfiguring the existing office and the computer lab to classrooms, adding several parking spaces to the front of the building, renovating the restrooms, and replacing the ceiling and floor tile.
“We really had no choice but to put the breaks on,” Drescher said. “Unfortunately, it was just days before the work was to begin.”
Drescher said the district is in talks with OWPR Architects to see why the other contractors did not place bids on the project. Drescher said another possible reason why was because the contractors’ schedules were filled up and they couldn’t spare manpower.
“I met with some people who have spoken to some of the contractors and they said they didn’t need the work at this time,” he said.
Drescher said the district is looking into how they can give contractors more access to the building to shorten renovation time.
“They have already indicated if we give them enough of the building, it’ll take less time to get [the project] done,” he said. “It could still be done by the end of next summer.”
Drescher said the final bid will have to be close to the $3 million budget or changes to the project will have to be made. He said the district will rebid the project in the fall since construction companies will start looking for winter work.
“The intention is to rebid the project,” Drescher said. “Timing is a big part of this, as we’ve learned already.”
Drescher said the planned asbestos abatement of A.S. Rhodes — which included asbestos testing and removal — will continue as planned.
“We’ve been in contact with the company that was awarded the bid and they are available to get it done in a few weeks,” he said.