By Debbie Adams
Avis Construction and Hughes Associates Architects and Engineers are being awarded the contract for the $23.3 million in renovations at William Byrd High School to get underway late next spring. This includes “soft costs” of $3.1 million (including technology, gym floor, and furniture). The announcement was made at a Roanoke County School Board work session on November 4 and will be on the consent agenda for final approval at the School Board meeting on November 12.
Director of Facilities and Operations Chris Lowe made the presentation on the contract to the board.
WBHS was built in 1969. There is a misconception that WBHS has been fully remodeled in the intervening years. However, that is not the case.
A renovation project in 2010 included renovations of administrative offices and a new entry, east side classrooms, the cafeteria, the JROTC area, and auditorium seats. In 2016, locker rooms were renovated at the school; soon after an artificial turf field was installed at the stadium.
Recent studies indicate a need for renovations of the west and south wings in core instruction areas, the guidance suite, and the library media center, and replacement of the gym floor. There is limited flow throughout the building due to lack of hallway connections; there is no choir room. Science labs do not meet RCPS standards. Family and consumer science space are inadequate, and the elevator is far from core instruction areas.
Lowe indicated that work on the project could begin in late April or May—mainly foundational but would get underway in earnest when students leave the building for summer break.
The extensive process of selecting a firm got underway in April 2020 when RCPS advertised for a Request for Qualifications from potential design/build teams. The school system received nine responses for the RFQ in May, which were reviewed by a five-person team.
In June of this year, RCPS invited four of the design/build teams to submit RFP’s which were returned in August. A seven-person review team evaluated and scored the technical proposals.
In September, a seven-person review team met, interviewed, and evaluated the proposals with technical proposals scored and ranked, and sealed financial proposals were opened, scored, and ranked. The highest ranked design/build team was interviewed to ensure that the entire scope as was identified in the RFP was included in pricing. In October, the contract was reviewed by RCPS and design/build team attorneys.
Lowe presented some conceptual designs for the project to the school board at the work session, although the project design is subject to change. Principal Tammy Newcomb has already expressed opposition to the suggested moving of the Hall of Fame to the second level.
The school system most recently worked with Avis Construction for the renovations at Cave Spring High School, completed in time for the opening of this school year in August—on time and within budget.