School project moving along

Construction of the regional career academy and new Greene County High School is back on schedule, according to Sam Harding, owner’s representative on the project. As owner’s rep, Harding oversees the project closely to be sure work is meeting the district’s specifications.

Harding reported to the Greene County school board at a work session preceding the regular board meeting Jan. 15.

“The career academy is in really good shape,” he said, and estimated it to be about 55 percent complete. The classroom portion and the gym/locker room portion are each about 40 percent finished, and the auditorium is about 30 percent finished.

The completion date is Aug. 1 for everything except the auditorium. The contract date for the auditorium is Oct. 1.

These large pipes are in place in case geothermal HVAC is added in the future.

Harding shared 51 photos taken Jan. 13. Many of them show bundles of wiring, cables, and such. He shared a photo of pipes that have been put in place in case geothermal heating and cooling becomes cost effective in the future.

A geothermal system was explored during planning for the new building, but the cost of natural gas is still low enough that the increased cost of installing geothermal would have had a very long payback in terms of energy cost.

However, should that situation change, the building itself will be ready for geothermal without retrofitting the entire HVAC system.

Large windows and translucent panels, similar to the panels on the north and south ends of the Greene County Community Center, are a feature of the building. Harding noted the pictures of the classroom portion were taken with only the natural lighting of a sunny winter day. (Click on the photos to enlarge them and read captions.)

Most of the masonry walls are finished in the classroom portion. Interior classroom walls will be metal stud walls; they will be put in later. “We’re making progress on that part of the building,” Harding said.

The building will not have a FEMA-approved storm shelter, as building a structure that would withstand an F5 tornado was cost-prohibitive. However, the locker rooms are being built as a hardened structure that will withstand an F4 tornado.

Harding described the auditorium as being “very well-equipped.” The back wall is 25-feet tall and accommodates a windows to a control room for lights and sounds. Structurally, the control room is a second floor above the visitor restrooms that will serve the auditorium and gym.

The stage has 15-feet of fly space. Smoke hatches in the roof above the fly will vent smoke or fog used for effect onstage.

The building is designed in four distinct portions. A commons area will connect them.

Looking north, from approximately where the public will enter for events in the gym (on the right) and the auditorium (left). In the center background is the classroom portion.

A drone photo shows the entire project. Each portion of the building is now separate. The areas between them will be put under roof to form one large building. The white portions of the roof are complete; the portions that look blue have decking applied but not roofing.

All the photos can be found on the school’s local access cable channel.

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