Board members got a look at the renovation plans for Gettys Middle School Monday night.
Paul Mussman with McMillan Pazdan Smith Architects presented the schematic designs for the school during the board's October meeting.
“The schematic design is reflective of the scope and design required by the district and has been review by the principal of Gettys Middle School,” said Bob Folkman, Operations and Building Program Administrator.
Mussman said the project remains on target for its $10.5 million budget.
Mussman said the existing school is around 125,000 square feet.
“We're going to renovate that 125,000 square feet,” he said. “We're doing minimal demolition.”
The school, once renovations are completed, will be around 133,000 square feet, Mussman said.
“Some of these renovations include all new mechanical, plumbing and electrical, data and fire systems, new interior finishes,” he said. “There's quite a few waterproofing issues we're going to take care of.”
Security fences will be added, he said.
The front parking lot and driveway at the school will remain the same, per the Department of Transportation, he said.
“They did not want us to change anything,” Mussman said. “We have the ability to redesign the whole thing, but after talking with DOT, we feel it's best to leave it as is.”
The existing wooded area behind the school will be cut back extensively, as it's causing extensive mold issues at the school, he said.
“It's creating some of the waterproofing issues, some of the mold issues,” Mussman said. “This area back here just never dries out, and water is getting into the building. One of things we're going to look at is what we can do to alleviate some of those water problems.”
Stormwater and drainage at the back of the property will also be addressed, he said.
The renovations will address the existing bus drop-off, Mussman said.
“The existing bus drop off gets on the actual track, so buses get on the track when they're dropping students off, ” he said.
A dedicated bus loop will be created, avoiding the need for the buses to get on the track, Mussman said.
The small band room will be demolished during the renovation, Mussman said, as well as other areas that will be removed to provide better circulation.
The band room will be added back at “a size that's closer to those of other schools,” he said.
The kitchen will be expanded for better operations, Mussman said.
The current office area will be turned into a bathroom for students, Mussman said.
“We're going to renovate the rest of the interior of the building,” he said.
The administration office space will be relocated to the right side of the first floor of the front building, Mussman said.
“We're going to have a secure front entry and a little bit better flow at that entry point,” he said.
The second floor will house the sixth grade buildings.
The renovations will also address some ADA-accessibility issues at the school, he said.
A ramp will be adding for ADA-accessibility to make it easier for student to access gathering areas in the mornings.
The seventh grade building will be gutted in order to increase the size of the classrooms, Mussman said.
“None of those existing classrooms are 800 square feet,” he said. “There all significantly below. We'll be tearing down non-structural walls and replacing those to provide a little better layout so classrooms meet (Office of School Facilities) standards.”
Locker room renovations and a new gym floor will be included as an add alternate on the drawings, but is not currently funded in the renovation plan.
Trustee Judy Edwards asked if Folkman if he was satisfied with the open covered corridors connecting buildings.
“Do you feel like that's safe?” she asked. “Are we cutting corners because we're at the end? Like the locker rooms, being an add-on. I almost feel like we're cutting corners because we're at the end of this building program and maybe we don't have the money. Are we? Do you feel like we are?”
He said he didn't feel the need to enclose the connecting corridors.
“As long as the students are secure from the general public and out of the weather, that's the best dollar spent to accomplish the task,” Folkman said.
Folkman said he'd challenged architects “to design to our budget.”
“That's what they've done,” he said. “We're going to identify of the locker rooms and the gym improvements. It is my hope that as move closer to next spring, we will have finished Daniel High School, we'll have finished Highway 8 improvements, Highway 178, and the conversions of Pickens and Easley High Schools. The contingency monies in those programs, it is my hope that we will not need those, and we can bring those funds forward.”
The plans passed 5-1, with Trustee Ben Trotter opposing.