Elkin High School’s campus is one step closer to getting a new gym building after school board members approved floor plans presented last week.
“This is the day I’ve been looking forward to for a long time, getting to show y’all what we’ve been working on, what our design team’s been working on,” said John Altemueller, maintenance director for Elkin City Schools, as he presented the proposed floor plans to the school board.
The more than $8.6 million to fund the construction of two elevators, a bridge for connection, renovations to the existing gym building and construction of a new auxiliary gym building with a third elevator are part of a larger bond issuance the Surry County commissioners approved earlier in the year.
Altemueller took the board on a “walking tour” of the floor plans using a red laser pointer, beginning with three views of how the exterior is expected to look when completed.
The new construction will take students or visitors from the cafeteria doorway closest to the auditorium, down a new three-stop elevator shaft to a walkway at the level of the band room that will run around to halfway behind the auditorium, where it will then head toward the existing gym building as a bridge over the service driveway.
Once reaching the existing gym, it will enter a new elevator tower, which will include stairways, and provide access to both the existing and new gym facilities, Altemueller explained.
Plans are to have the walkway from the band hallway to the new elevator tower to be enclosed, but with constructions costs continuing to increase since initial estimates were provided by architects, and with Hurricane Florence’s aftermath adding to those inflating prices, Altemueller said a bid alternate may be sought to simply cover the walkway and include high railings, rather than enclosing it. The final costs would determine which option will be chosen.
The middle-schoolers would access the gym facilities by two options — the first being through the band hallway to the walkway, and the second being via the service driveway level below the walkway where an entrance to the stairwell will be included. The driveway level also would be the option for the public to access the building for ball games, he said.
From the new elevator tower, a small lobby will allow access to the existing gym, which will be one level down from the top of the tower, or a walkway along the wall facing the school building will allow people to get to the new auxiliary gym and its facilities without having to travel through the existing gym.
The gymnasium level also will house public restrooms and concessions, as well as a third elevator and three stairways to provide access to the floors below.
The auxiliary gym will be a collegiate-size floor, but with about 500 seats instead of the 1,500 in the existing gym, Altemueller said.
On the level just below the gyms, the existing locker rooms will see some sprucing up with paint, new fixtures, but no major overhaul, he explained. The new gym building will house two new physical education locker rooms, a wrestling practice area, a health classroom, and a JROTC area that meets federal specs and includes an area that can be used as two classrooms or an indoor firing range as well as battalion and administrative areas for JROTC.
The level also will include teacher offices for physical education and two smaller bathroom areas.
Another level down in the new building will put the structure about the level of the gate into the football stadium, Altemueller explained. This bottom level will include locker rooms for the home and visiting football teams, but which also can be utilized during other seasons by teams such as baseball, softball or track and field. It also includes two dressing rooms for officials, and a small bathroom in the case of a female official who needs a separate dressing area.
The locker rooms in the new building will be non-gender specific, meaning if two girls teams need them during one season, they can use them, and then boys teams can use them at other times. Altemueller said there will be no urinals in them, and the shower areas will have individual stalls with doors, no group shower areas.
The new building’s lowest level also will have a classroom which can be used by coaches for “chalk talks” or by teachers for additional classroom space, as well as a mechanical room. Also, it includes laundry facilities.
The bottom level of the existing building will continue to house the weight room and it is anticipated the old team locker room may be used for storing outside sports equipment which have been out in the weather due to no storage room for them.
Another bid alternate for the project also may include the demolition of the old press box structure near the practice field, which Altemueller said is not in any shape to be repaired.
After seeing the layout, the school board approved the floor plans and gave approval for Pinnacle Architects to move forward with design engineers.
Frank Williams with Pinnacle is expected to return to the board when the project is ready to go out for bid in December.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.