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Waynesboro High School Renovations

By Jisell, Eileen, and Millineum

Waynesboro High School has been standing since 1938. In those 78 year the school has some wear and tear. The decision to renovate or build a new school was a hard choice for the school board and the city council. Dr. Cassell told the School Board he had relayed the motion and vote from the last School Board meeting to City Manager, Mike Hamp. This motion was a recommendation of a new high school on a new site accompanied by a request for a joint work session of the School Board and City Council to begin to discuss the logistics of how this might move forward.  Both bodies agreed that improvements are needed for the high school. Back in April, city leaders met to discuss the future of the 78-year-old building and stated that a new building would ring up at around $73 million, while renovating would cost about $35 million.The council used a study previously conducted of the school building in their decision making process. The city now plans to move forward with a plan to improve the current facility. That would include a multi-story addition, according to Freeman.

 

According to the City Council Meeting Minutes ,discussion focused on the benefits and costs of renovating the current high school versus building a new school with more acreage for facilities and parking, the expected life span of a renovated building (approximately 25 years) and a new building (approximately 50 years), the competitive advantage when compared to neighboring localities that have upgraded facilities, the financial impact on citizen’s real estate taxes, the impact of a substantial tax increase on prospective businesses, and other capital expenditure demands on the General Fund.

 

Some of the teachers who have been in this school for a while have a lot to say about the upcoming renovation. Ms Sapp is a English teacher who has been teaching at the WHS for years, and her room could use some fixing. Sapp has strong  opinions about the renovations .“I’m angry because I feel like our school board hasn’t been in the building enough,” she explained. Sapp said that she feels like they [the school board] don’t understand the main issues that the school is dealing with on a regular  basis. As an example, Sapp recalled getting an email from Mr. Teachey, he WHS principal, telling teachers  “Hey, we’re expecting rain, so put a trash can under the ceiling.” Sapp feels it’s it’s just unacceptable. Sapp needs some work in her room, but she has classes and the students are not going to focus during the renovation. Sapp believes he students will be distracted from learning.  

Mr. Wion, an Earth science teacher here at WHS, has a different  point of view. Wion is pleased that the need of a school renovation is being acknowledged, and that the school board and the town council

Students wouldn’t be able to enjoy having a newly renovated school until 2018, but there will be many  changes during the 2 year renovation process. The big question that everyone is wondering is, where will we be going during these renovations? According to a city council document ,Housing in one building: There may not be a building in the City large enough to accommodate needs. Would require rental costs and costs associated with temporary partitions or construction for classrooms students in the rental building.   Students were worried that they wouldn’t be able to focus or it would be to loud , but they have nothing to be worried about . “i think we were aware of the main issue but there are certain part of it that we havent been included in , and i think that we should have been.” said Laura Murano a freshman at WHS.

According to councilman Jeff Freeman, the decision to renovate was unanimous. Back in April, city leaders met to discuss the future of the 78-year-old building and stated that a new building would ring up at around $73 million, while renovating would cost about $35 million.The council used a study previously conducted of the school building in their decision making process. The city now plans to move forward with a plan to improve the current facility. That would include a multi-story addition, according to Freeman.

“We think that the [current] building can be something the community can be proud of,” said Freeman. “We think that it will meet the needs of the students for now and in the future.”

Freeman said the school’s convenient location also impacted the council’s move. “It was a tough decision that wasn’t made just in a meeting. We spent hours together [and] separately,” Freeman said. “It’s something we feel good about now.”

Back in April, city leaders met to discuss the future of the 78-year-old building and stated that a new building would ring up at around $73 million, while renovating would cost about $35 million.The council used a study previously conducted of the school building in their decision making process. The city now plans to move forward with a plan to improve the current facility. That would include a multi-story addition, according to Freeman.

 

AGENDA FOR WAYNESBORO CITY COUNCIL TO BE HELD ON MONDAY, JULY 14, 2003, AT 7:00 P. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Oct. 2016.    

Waynesboro High School. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Oct. 2016.  

@WHSVnews. “Waynesboro Councilman Defends Axing Plans for New High School.” Waynesboro Councilman Defends Axing Plans for New High School. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Oct. 2016.

5 Responses to “Waynesboro High School Renovations”

  1. Leslie Hellerman says:

    Thank you for taking the time to read the article and share your thoughts Donnie.

  2. Donnie Lunceford says:

    I still fail to understand how renovations are better than a new school other than in terms of cost. Of course more can be added onto the school, but there really isn’t too much room to build around the current location, not to mention the problems multiple teachers have had in the recent years. While the current WHS does have a lot of history, I think its time to move on to a new school, as renovations would only delay the inevitable as this point.

  3. Millineum White says:

    all the sources are at the end of the artical, i try to find resources that were close to this date . imm so sorry

  4. Erin Widener says:

    I’m very interested to see how the renovation will be handled over the next few years. Thanks for keeping us informed.

  5. Laura Riggan says:

    I am curious about the $35 million figure for renovation. As a member of the Facilities Study Committee that met in the winter of 2015, I recall a figure of $48 million for renovation. That was an estimate from two years ago; it is likely that those prices have risen since then. Certainly, the $35 million estimate does not include the cost of housing students somewhere else for two years, and it doesn’t include the cost of buying additional property on this block where WHS is currently located. Like Mr. Wion, I am glad the City is moving forward with SOMETHING, but I am very concerned about our current students (as opposed to those who will enjoy the renovated building once it is complete) and I am very concerned that $35 million is simply not a realistic figure for discussion. Further, I believe that WHS students and staff need to hear (and see) a direct message from our city leaders that education and our young people are a high priority in this community. So far, with this announcement, that message is not evident.

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