GAITHERSBURG, Md. — Hess Construction and Engineering Services continues boosting its mid-Atlantic portfolio, with two more school projects under way.
The firm was selected by the Montgomery County Publics Schools (MCPS) selected the firm to manage construction of the Gaithersburg High School modernization project — a $93 million phased renovation, addition and replacement building resulting in a 420,000-square-foot facility.
The existing school will remain in operation during the phased construction, company officials said.
The modernization is part of the county’s schedule for building replacement of buildings. While Gaithersburg has been on the schedule for several years, funding finally became available, said Charles Overly, school business administrator at the high school.
With the original facility built in 1951,Gaithersburg High School has had five additions since the original facility was built in 1950s, with the most recent completed in 2005. Once the new project is completed, the school will be the largest in Montgomery County by square footage.
“The school itself is very large and spread out, and each addition just tacked on to what existed, so it’s not a very cohesive floor plan,” Overly said. “The new school will be built from the ground up to be a cohesive modern school that has all the necessary facilities.”
Overly said the older buildings are in need of replacement. The new project will incorporate the newest addition of the school and the renovated auditorium. The existing school will remain in operation during construction.
The school has had five additions over the years, with the most recent completed in 2005, he said.
“The school itself is very large and spread out, and each addition just tacked on to what existed, so it’s not a very cohesive floor plan,” he said. “The new school will be built from the ground up to be a cohesive modern school that has all the necessary facilities.”
Key design factors included collaboration between departments, ease of access for all students and community use of the facilities on evenings and weekends.
A portion of the replacement plan includes computers and technology for all classrooms. Once completed, the school will be the largest in Montgomery County by square footage, he said.
The project is designed to meet LEED Silver standards, with energy saving features including a green roof, a geothermal well HVAC system, enhanced commissioning and occupancy sensor control lighting.
The school may have enough points to apply for LEED Gold certification, Overly said.
Designed with flexibility in mind, the facility accommodates changing educational programs, departments and interdisciplinary teaching methods, and aims to meet efficiency and cost-effective goals, Hess officials said.
Core support spaces will be available to the community for use during non-school hours.
Learning spaces accommodate science labs, two greenhouse spaces, an automotive repair and body shop, a technology lab and a cosmetology lab.
The existing auditorium will undergo a complete renovation that includes a theatrical stage rigging system, and the 16,000-square-foot gymnasium design includes two full-size basketball courts, two volleyball courts and twelve badminton courts.
In addition to facility remodeling, the school will modernize its outdoor athletic space. Plans include new softball and baseball fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, an adaptive play area and a synthetic turf practice field.
A ticket booth, plaza, concession stand, restrooms, press box, and grandstand will replace the existing outdated facilities, and accessibility for persons with disabilities will be provided to all of the courts and fields throughout the site, according to Hess officials.
Construction is slated for completion in August 2014.
Hess Completes Patriot High School
Hess also recently completed the new $72 million Patriot High School in Nokesville, Va., a 312,000-square-foot facility accommodating 2,200 students.
“Students will benefit from features such as a dedicated culinary arts area with commercial kitchen, television studio, and complete media center including computer areas for research and instructional use,” company officials said.
Situated on 94 acres, the site includes a wet pond for use in environmental science. The school also houses a football stadium with artificial surface, competition baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, and a dedicated driver education range and tower, Hess officials said.
Technology upgrades at the school include a local area computer network, wireless access and classrooms equipped with interactive white boards, video and remote computer monitor use within the classroom.