School Upgrade Over 5 Years

MOUNDSVILLE – In order to pay for an unexpected $8 million HVAC renovation for the John Marshall High School project, the Marshall County Board of Education decided to extend the renovation of the building over the next five years.

During a meeting Tuesday with Project and Construction Services Inc. and architect Silling Associates Inc., board members said during the first year of the project they plan to spend $16.5 million in order to meet the requirements determined by the West Virginia School Building Authority. That portion of the project will include enclosing a walkway from the main building to the Performing Arts building; renovating the HVAC system; upgrading the building’s doors, windows, flooring, ceilings, lighting, restrooms and science rooms; improving labs and technology; and performing an asphalt overlay and abatement.

PCS officials last week introduced to the board the possibility of switching the school’s HVAC system from electric to gas in order to reduce noise from outside units that have been distracting students in class. In order to support a new gas HVAC system, PCS previously advised the school’s entire electric system would have to be upgraded.

However, the board determined Tuesday the current 40-year-old electric system does not have enough power to support the school’s electrical needs and needs to be completely renovated, costing roughly the same amount in upgrades to stay with electric as it would to switch to gas.

“We will be partially incorporating gas as an energy source in the HVAC system,” Hince said. “We’re finding the electricity we have doesn’t have enough power and there has to be upgrades. We chose gas for the noise reduction in the classrooms from the outside ventilator units, since electric tends to be noisier than gas.”

Gas will be used for the outside units of the building while electric will still be used the school’s core HVAC unit, Hince said. The upgrades will cost $6,274,770 for the main building in the first year of the project. HVAC upgrades for the Performing Arts Building would not be performed until the fourth year.

The addition of a secured entryway to the building will also be included in the first phase, Hince said, as part of the district’s agreement with the SBA to improve school safety. Renovations of the cafeteria and kitchen area would be postponed until the second phase of the project.