Consultants To Community – New High School On New Site Best Option

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 11, 2012

By Beth Cassidy
Enterprise Record

About 85 people showed up for the Davie County Board of Education’s public forum last week at the Brock Performing Arts Center.
The forum was to provide information on facility needs from the assessment by Little Diversified Architectural Consulting. The information was the same presented to the board at a special meeting last month and mainly dealt with needs at Davie High.
Tom Balke, principal in charge at Little, headed the assessment, which cost the school system around $160,000. Balke shared the three avenues to deal with the high school, a facility he described as being “maxed out” in terms of space.
���Avenue A” would continue to expand, replace, and improve the existing high school campus, opened in 1956. “Avenue B” is the construction of a new high school on a new site, and “Avenue C” is the construction of a new school on the existing site.
Balke presented base costs, costs with eight percent contingency and soft costs (which includes fees, testing, and surveying) for each option.
Avenue A has a base cost of just over $26 million, and with contingency and soft costs added, a total of $34.3 million. Avenue B has a base cost of $40.9 million and a total cost of $53.4 million, including the purchase of land. Avenue C has a base cost of $39.7 million and total of $51.9 million.
The identified central location for a new school was given as Sain and Milling roads near Mocksville, also near the geographic center of the county.
Balke said from a cost standpoint, the option that made the most sense, financially and in what it would offer to students in the way of educational opportunities, is Avenue B.
Many of the programs at the high school have outgrown space, including band and choral areas, science labs and the media center, among others, he said.
One of the biggest goals the board had was to eliminate mobile units at the high school. With $5 million from county commissioners and $1 million from lottery funds, the board hopes to have renovations done to cafeteria and administrative areas and have constructed a two-story building that will house about 25 classrooms. That building would likely be located adjacent to K building. Renovations could begin as early as December.
Some questioned spending $6 million on renovations when that money could be put toward new construction.
During the question and answer session of the forum, Anita Klein of Advance asked the board, “Collectively, do you feel this is a prudent use of $6 million? Six million dollars would be a hefty …