ROANOKE COUNTY (WSLS 10) – The Roanoke County School Board commissioned a study on all 30 facilities the school system owns and heard a presentation from OWPR Tuesday morning during the construction committee meeting.
They now have to decide what repairs need to be made and what will be added to the capital improvement plan. OWPR highlighted more than $5 million worth of priority repairs that they said need to be done as soon as possible.
One of the big discussion items from OWPR was adding an emergency access road at William Byrd Middle and High School.
A gravel road to be used only for emergencies was estimated at about $500,000. A more expensive option would be a $1.8 million paved access road to connect the schools to the nearby neighborhood for additional access. This was cited as a safety concern if the only road in and out was blocked, but the school board said a road has been talked about before and it’s been a tough sell to the Board of Supervisors and people who live in the neighborhood.
Also a concern, seven schools that need roof replacements or repairs at a cost of nearly $2.5 million. The school board says janitors are supposed to oversee roof maintenance, but the surveyor found multiple issues causing damage, including items left on the roof, trees growing into roofs and items found inside drainage pipes. School Board member Don Butzer suggested hiring a roofing contractor to oversee maintenance.
“We have a great study with a lot of field work that will help us build a capital improvement plan for the next 10 years,” said Butzer. “We will never have enough to do it all, but we have a great start in identifying the things that have to be done right away.”
The construction committee was also given a list of a medium-priority items that included a list of $34 million worth of things that should be considered, including a complete renovation of the Burton Center for the Arts. No items were decided on. Tuesday’s meeting was only for information and discussion.
The committee will discuss the recommendations and provide further direction to bring back to the school board on January 12.