OWPR Architects and Engineers has issued a second opinion assessment for making improvements at Halifax County High School as requested by the Halifax County Board of Supervisors.
OWPR Architects offered no second opinion assessment for cost of building a new high school, only suggesting renovation addition costs to the tune of $73.3 million compared to Mosely Architects’ estimate of $82.5 million for renovation additions.
The Second Opinion Assessment does not advocate either renovation or replacement but does lay out three potential scenarios, two of which were previously included in the Moseley Report, including demolition and replacement options, as well as partial demolition with new addition and renovation options as well as the whole building renovation with option for auxiliary gym addition as proposed by the OWPR alternative plan.
OWPR Architects and engineers reviewed two reports assessing the condition of Halifax County High School, one issued by B&B Consultants in March of 2017 focusing on the ADA compliance issue and the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.
No mention is made of any structural concerns or issues in the B&B report, according to OWPR.
OWPR also reviewed a report prepared by Moseley Architects and Timmons Group in September of 2018.
OWPR’s alternative approach is to preserve as much of the existing building assets as possible, and as part of that approach does not contemplate demolishing any significant portion of the building, other than interior wall demolition for floor plan re-configuration.
It recommends that new dimmable LED lights be installed in all academic areas, enhanced wireless network and distribution systems be installed throughout, and new digital camera systems with pan, tilt and zoom abilities be installed in areas where security issues could remain due to the original building design.
OWPR estimates a total cost of $10.3 million for those upgrades.
The OWPR alternative plan presents options for whole building renovation and addition with an option for an auxiliary gym addition ($2.2 million), at a total cost of $73,341,000.
Included in that estimate is $14,350,000 for HVAC replacement; $9,400,000 for interior renovations and reconfiguration; $6,300,000 for electrical upgrades; $5,700,000 for interior finishes — walls, floors, ceilings; and $3,850,000 for plumbing upgrades.
Included in the $73,341,000 are site improvement costs estimated at $4,299,000, with the biggest cost estimates of $1.1 million for milling and resurfacing asphalt areas; $1 million for lighting replacement; $200,000 for resurfacing tennis courts; $2,200,000 for an auxiliary gym addition; and $200,000 for resurfacing the track, high jump pit and runways and $200,000 each of new field lighting for both the softball and baseball fields.
OWPR estimates a cost of $5,096,000 for improvements at Tuck Dillard Memorial Stadium, with the biggest expenses $1.2 million for synthetic field turf, $630,000 a new parking lot complete with ADA parking and drop off for shuttle buses, $515,000 for renovation of the field house, $456,000 for a new concession stand and restroom building, $450,000 for home bleachers and $150,000 for replacement of visitor bleachers.
Under the Moseley Plan, a new building is estimated to cost $64,575,000; site improvements are estimated to cost $5,800,000; building demolition at $2,191,000; and tennis court and softball field lighting at $200,000 each.
Owner costs are estimated at $19,701,000 for a total estimated cost for a new high school of $92,667,000.
Moseley also provided a renovation and addition cost estimate for Halifax County High School with an estimated cost of $27,191,000 for new construction; $31,179,450 for renovation; $685,664 for building demolition; $5,400,000 for site work; $200,000 for tennis court lighting and $350,000 for leased modular classrooms for 375 students, compared to an estimated cost of $500,000 by OWPR; and $17,552,00 in owner costs, totaling Moseley’s renovation estimate of $82,558,114.
OWPR reported that the original design of Halifax County High School “presents many obstacles to create a modern 21st century learning environment.”
“OWPR is in agreement that generally, when building renovation costs approach 75 percent of the new building replacement cost, that replacement should be considered.”
OWPR also concurred with a second report from Moseley Architects and Timmons Group in September of 2018 that examined each school in the county including the high school and found structural issues pertaining to masonary walls with most cracks likely related to expansion issues, not settlement or structural fatigue.
In its report, OWPR recommends as part of an overall skin upgrade to remove areas of spalling/damaged white brick at the high school and replace it with a pre-finished aluminum panel system.
The OWPR assessment also agrees in general with those made in the Moseley Report regarding site conditions, the football stadium and the exterior of Halifax County High School.
“Although site amenities are aging, OWPR believes much of the site can be restored through renovations and replacement of key components,” according to the second opinion assessment.
Halifax County School Superintendent Dr. Mark Lineburg indicated after reviewing the second opinion assessment he’s convinced a new school needs to be built as opposed to renovating the existing facility.
He pointed to the section of OWPR’s assessment that stated “when building renovation costs approach 75 percent of the new building replacement cost, that replacement should be considered. The Department of Education says 50 percent, and it’s all subjective.”
The difference between the OWPR figures and those presented in the Moseley Report were primarily due to one (Moseley) focusing on new construction ($27,191,000) and renovation ($31,179,450) and OWPR focusing on renovation and addition cost estimates including $50,400,000 for renovation, $2,200,00 for an auxiliary gym and $4,299,000 for site improvements.
“Moseley did not think a straight renovation was a good option,” said Lineburg. “In our deliberations, they (Moseley) said it wasn’t cost effective.”
ED-1 Supervisor J. T. Davis declined to comment on the OWPR Report, and a call to ED-4 Supervisor and Chairman Dennis Witt was not returned as of press time Sunday evening.