FRONT ROYAL – The Warren County School Board Building Committee discussed the upcoming renovation project for A.S. Rhodes Elementary School during a meeting on Monday.

Melody Sheppard, the assistant superintendent for Warren County schools, presented the committee with the floor plans for the renovations of the elementary school, including work on a new front entrance, a new roof, and the addition of new offices/classrooms.

“We’re going to have the need for as many classrooms after the renovation as we have now,” Sheppard said.

The budget for the project is expected to be $3 million, with most of the money coming from a Virginia SNAP fund. Sheppard said that over $2 million from the fund was leftover money from other school renovation projects, including Warren County and Skyline Middle schools.

Sheppard said that the district won’t know the final budget for the project will be until bids go out to contractors.

Before the renovation project begins, A.S. Rhodes Elementary will undergo asbestos testing and removal if asbestos is found.

“Anytime we start renovating a school that was built during certain years, there is likely asbestos,” Sheppard said. “I want to say that our students and our staff are safe as it’s encapsulated at this point.”

Sheppard said that the district is working with APEX to test for and to get rid of any potential asbestos. She said that the removal would cost $60,000, which would also include floor tile and glue replacement, and the removal would take up to eight or nine days.

The renovations on the elementary school are expected to start this summer, with Sheppard saying the asbestos removal will begin the week after school is out. The project is expected to be completed in August 2020.

The renovations on A.S. Rhodes Elementary come as the Warren County School Board passed a resolution that would use the County Health and Human Services Building, which the School Board owns, as collateral to help secure an $11,395,000 bond so that Warren County can provide funding or finish paying off three building projects in the county, including renovations and additions to Ressie Jeffries Elementary School.

Sheppard said that she doesn’t expect the same thing to happen with A.S. Rhodes Elementary project.

“The money for this project is cash-on-hand,” she said. “We’re not borrowing any additional money to fund this project.”

The subject of the A.S. Rhodes Elementary School renovations will be discussed further during the School Board’s work session on Wednesday.

– Contact Donald Lambert at