The projected estimate to provide an ADA-compliant access from Elkin High School’s main building and auditorium area to the existing gym and constructing a new auxiliary gym came in at more than $9 million.
Representatives of Pinnacle Architects presented the proposed design and cost estimate during the Elkin City Schools Board of Education retreat Friday afternoon, after working with a building design committee of the school system to ensure it met all of the system’s needs.
The new renovations and additions at Elkin High School will address Americans with Disabilities Act compliance issues in several areas near the auditorium and existing gym building, as well as creating a new facility that will include an auxiliary gym, and ADA accessible locker rooms and field house type area on three levels.
The project has been broken into two phases if needed for funding purposes, explained Randy Baker with Pinnacle Architects, with the first phase including ADA accessibility from the main building to the auditorium and existing gym at a cost estimate of $1,037,400 and the second phase adding the new auxiliary gym building at an estimate of $8,030,285.
The goal of the first phase is to get people from the main building down to the auditorium and the band practice room, which require navigating two or three small flights of stairs. To accomplish that goal, the plan is to construct an elevator on the concrete pad between the auditorium building and the cafeteria, said Frank Williams of Pinnacle Architects as he presented the plan.
A new corridor will be constructed to reach the band room practice level, and a little bridge would be constructed to reach the elevator from the cafeteria. These plans would only leave a four-foot flight of steps to be navigated with a wheelchair lift.
Then from the glass corridor on the band level, another corridor will stretch from beside the west side of the auditorium beyond and then along the back of the building until it reaches a point where it would be perpendicular to the gym, Williams explained. At that point, the corridor will be constructed above the paved service entry to the back of the school and to a new elevator tower which will be built at the corner of the existing gymnasium.
Vehicles will still be able to travel and park under the raised corridor in the service area, he said.
The top floor of the gym’s elevator tower will just consist of a landing, and then the next level down would be a landing to access the parking lot level and pavement in the parking area that is ADA compliant, something the existing ramp to the gym does not meet.
“So far, we’ve got someone in a wheel chair from the dining room all the way to this tower and they can go in the elevator,” said Williams, noting that the elevator tower will include steps for those who don’t want to go outside to access the gym.
He also pointed out security, in the light of recent national discussions due to school violence, being key in these new plans, because students don’t ever have to leave the building to get from building to building.
Phase two of the project would be the construction of the auxiliary gym building on the plot of “flat” land sitting between the existing gym and the football bleachers. The top level of the new building would include a commons area with ADA bathrooms and concessions just outside the existing gym and between it and the new gymnasium which could seat 800 to 1,000 people, Williams said.
An additional elevator for the new building and a set of stairs would be constructed outside the northwest corner of the existing building in the new facility, making the new building fully ADA compliant. Two other sets of stairs will be in the new building as well.
The second level of the new building would include two ADA-compliant locker rooms with shower facilities, several classrooms, offices and a 40-by-40-foot room large enough for wrestling practice.
Then the bottom level, which would require a slight ramp to gain access from the football field area, would house two fieldhouse style locker areas with bathrooms and showers, a couple of offices and a conference room area that could be used as a chalkroom for coaches to work with players. Part of the existing building’s bottom level could be utilized as a game officials’ dressing room if that is what school officials saw a need for, Williams said.
The new gym building would provide more areas to handle middle school, junior varsity and varsity practices and games as well as physical education classes for the middle and high school, which share a campus. The school’s wrestling teams have to practice in the Elkin Elementary School gym right now due to space constraints.
Baker said if the schools can secure enough funding from the county commissioners to do the project in its totality, it is likely going to save money on the first ADA compliant phase. If not, that phase could increase in cost.
The project also will address some of the flooding issues at the football field where water from the school is funneled into one drainage area now, Baker said.
He said the project to completion would take about 12 to 14 months, but most of that would take place away from students.
The Surry County Board of Commissioners has committed to helping fund needed construction projects in each of Surry’s three school systems, but the break down on how much each school system will receive has yet to be determined. Commissioner Eddie Harris attended the school board’s retreat Friday for the construction project update.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.