Thu09182014

Last updateThu, 19 Nov 2015 8pm

   20140901MetroCastweb

Renovation options for PES narrowed

School Board estimates costs at $9.6 million plus design & engineering

The King George School Board this week took a look at the four options presented last month for renovations proposed for Potomac Elementary School (PES).
The firm of Crabtree Rohrbaugh & Associates had presented an extensive study on Aug. 3 at a joint meeting with the Board of Supervisors.
At this week’s meeting on Sept. 13 the discussion resulted in narrowing the four options to two. Those options are listed in the study as Option 2 and Option 3, both estimated at $9,646,672 for construction costs.
School Board members asked Superintendent Candace Brown to put that cost into their upcoming Capital Improvement Program (CIP) request to the county.

In the current CIP for this fiscal year, there is county funding of $220,000 earmarked to go toward engineering and design of the project, which might not be enough to cover that cost.
Prior to going forward with engineering and design, one of the two current options must next be selected.  
In addition, prior to design, it is customary for the county to identify a source of funding for the future renovations and/or construction to go forward.    

POTOMAC ELEMENTARY SCHOOL    
PES, which is located in Dahlgren on a site containing 11.737 acres, contains about 35 classrooms along with resource rooms and the usual additional spaces that support instruction at an elementary school, including space for such uses as administrative offices, gymnasium, library, cafeteria and kitchen, among others.
The study indicates the current replacement value of the school at $12.92 million.
Currently, grades K-2 are housed in the 1991 section, with third and fifth grades housed in the 1970s section and fourth and sixth grades in the original 1950s section.
The student capacity is noted at 708 students. As of this week, the school has an enrollment of 603 students.
Both options 2 & 3 include various site improvements, building code and accessibility modifications and complete upgrades to the mechanical, plumbing and electrical building systems.

RENOVATION OPTION 2
This option would include an addition of six new classrooms tacked onto four separate locations around the building to increase the size by 8,250 square feet. It would provide interior doors on the corridors adjacent to the main office entrance and in some other locations of the school. Interior renovations to the 1950s section would result in increasing the size of the art room and also creating a larger computer lab in that section of the building.

RENOVATION OPTION 3
This option would also increase the size of the building by 8,250 square feet to include an addition of five new classrooms tacked onto three separate locations around the building.
This option differs by proposing construction of a new main office area at the entrance near the existing music room on the Potomac Drive side of the school.
As with Option 2, it would also provide interior doors on the corridors adjacent to the existing main office entrance and in some other locations of the school.  
Other interior renovations to the 1950s section would result in increasing the size of the art room and also creating a larger computer lab in that section of the building, along with additional room reconfiguration in that section.

18-MONTH RENOVATION TIMETABLE WITH TRAILERS NEEDED      
Renovation of the school building is estimated to take about 18 months, whichever option is selected.  
It was suggested that the best time to start renovations would be in the spring, span two summers, with completion planned at the end of the second summer for that fall’s school start up.
That means that if renovations began in spring 2011, they would be anticipated to be completed in time for start of school in 2013.
Modular classrooms (trailers) would be needed during the renovation time frame, with students moved out of about an eight-classroom section at a time during the rolling renovation phasing.

ANOTHER MEETING WANTED WITH SUPERVISORS    
School Board members also decided they wanted to again ask for another joint meeting with the Board of Supervisors to talk about a timetable for the proposed PES renovations in conjunction with possible future use of the mothballed former middle school building.
They want an additional meeting prior to the next quarterly meeting with supervisors, which is slated for November or December.
Brown is shopping the closed former middle school building around to see if it can be leased next year for training by a Navy group or other government entity or contractor firm.
Brown said at this week’s meeting, “Right now, the old middle school is being seriously considered for use by several companies for office space.”
Brown added, “They are going to have to bring that building almost into pristine shape before we can make that into a training site.”
School Board member Mike Rose wanted to know who would pay for the renovations.
Brown said she wasn’t sure, but maybe a portion by the county and the rest by the group seeking to lease.
The building is said to need a new well estimated at $140,475 and a HVAC system estimated at $1.6 million.

Phyllis Cook
Staff reporter

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