By Lisa Kopochinski
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va.—With a completion date slated for summer 2020, construction remains underway on the renovation of Cave Spring High School in Roanoke County, Virginia.
The demolition has been completed and now, steel, slabs of concrete and writing on the walls are all that is left to do on this $43 million project.
Roanoke County School Board members awarded the contract last fall to Avis Construction Company. The company posted a base bid of $33.3 million and offered to complete add-on construction work for an additional $1.7 million.
Additionally, the school board also awarded a separate contract for modular classroom units to Aries Building Systems LLC for $1.4 million.
In early May, school officials showed off the renovation progress since breaking ground on the project,
“Is this exciting or what?” remarked Roanoke County School Board member Mike Wray.
Wray, who is a Cave Spring grad says the building has not changed that much since he was a student there, so the time is definitely right for an upgrade,
“We were cramped back then,” he recalls. “It’s just amazing what’s going on and it certainly was due.”
Nearly every square foot of the building—from classrooms to the cafeteria to the locker rooms—are being renovated. The new design includes letting in more sunlight and improving the flow of foot traffic by creating one long main hallway, instead of the old hexagon shape.
“It was disorienting,” says Nathan Harper, director of design at Spectrum Design, the architectural firm working on the project.
“It was very hard to figure out where you were, so cleaning that up,”
New additions at the high school include a wood shop, coffee shop and outdoor space.
There will be “opportunities for students to gather, instead of just hallways and doors into classrooms,” adds Harper.
While the gym and auditorium will only see minor upgrades. But with any major renovation, Harper says there are obstacles.
“The phasing and the orchestration of where the construction area is, the lay-down area, where the mobile classrooms are set up. All of that is always a challenge.”
Although the project is extensive, Wray says the renovation will reflect the school’s history for generations of alumni to come.