School Board Digs Into Construction

The reality of construction has replaced the tension of the long effort to build the high school and the Clarke County School Board’s special meeting for construction was all business Monday evening. A raft of presentations and ongoing plans for the much anticipated ground breaking ceremony dominated the agenda. Highlights of the meeting included:

Third Party Testing:

The board heard a presentation from QA Plus, a testing firm that is seeking the board’s approval to fulfill the third party testing requirements for the Clarke County High School project. Major projects such as the new school require third party testing of materials and processes during construction in order to ensure safety and performance issues are being met. These tests must be conducted by a firm other than principal contractor, so this has been a line item in the budget since the beginning of the process. The decision at this point is selection of the vendor for testing.

Frank DeHaut of QA Plus

Mr. DeHaut’s presentation outlined the need for testing and the company’s approach to work flow and communications with the client. He also went over a detailed list of testing schedules and items required by the contract. The schedule also included optional items that his firm suggested the School Board consider but that were not a contractual requirement. The brunt of these add-ons were “Commissioning Services,” in particular for HVAC equipment.   His firm provides commissioning because scheduling and poor communications often leave systems installed properly but operating below the needed specification.
Mr DeHaut conceded, “You shouldn’t need it, but you do need it. That’s the easiest way to say it.”
The suggested HVAC commissioning services could   add an additional $81,878.50.
The board is taking the presentation under consideration for a decision at the August School Board meeting.

Design rendering for new high school

High School Color Palette:

The board also reviewed initial design color palettes for the new high school. Presentation boards   were used to show renderings of key spaces with the finish treatments suggested by the architect. While the reception was generally   good, the School Board did express concern that the palette “seemed dark.” There was also discussion on how to handle the bright orange that is a hallmark of the Clarke County Eagles. While it is an important aspect of the school colors it could be overwhelming to use in all situations so the contractor is attempting to use a more muted orange where appropriate. The design rep told the board this was an initial palette and would be revised as the project moved forward.

Fire Hydrant Change Order Request Rejected:

The board considered a change order request from CRA for redesign of the fire hydrant loop that is shown on the construction drawings. The budget surplus realized by the competitive bids the School Board received has made it possible for the the addition of 8 classrooms that were not in the initial bid. The water line for the fire hydrants in the current drawing is in the way of the additional classrooms and CRA wants a $10K change order to move it in the amended drawings. After Chairman Robina Bouffault presented the scenario, board members pointed out there were provisions in the initial package for the possibility of expansion. The consensus was that CRA should have made this adjustment as a provision and board member, Emily Rhodes, summarized their position saying,”Thank you very much but you should have done it right the first time.”
The board decided that CRA should correct the design at no additional charge.

Surplus Plans:

Also regarding the $7 million surplus, the school board initiated plans for upgrades and improvements on other schools in the Clarke County system utilizing their cache of surplus funds. The schools plans to hire Crabtree Rohrbaugh Associates (CRA) to develop a detailed analysis for construction cost estimates and the associated design fees for renovation work to other schools in the county. The design team from CRA would conduct a complete walk through of all the facilities to examine existing conditions and gain a thorough understanding of the School Board’s desired and prioritized scope of work. The deliverable from these contract amendments would be an analysis of the proposed work including construction costs and design fees. These initial numbers would provide the school board with a clear picture of where they could realize the most benefit from possible renovations.

Facilities that are under consideration for renovation work include the existing high school, DG Cooley, and Berryville Primary. The additional   classroom expansion in the new high school would also fall into this scope of work. The architect will look at existing schools with a   focus on window, doors, electrical, data, HVAC and accessibility improvements.

The board voted unanimously to proceed with these cost analysis measures.

Ground Breaking Ceremony:

Last but not least the School Board reviewed plans for the much anticipated ground breaking ceremony for the new high school scheduled for this Saturday. The event will include free t-shirts, and balloons, guest speakers and a shovel painting contest. For full details see the CCHS Groundbreaking Ceremony Schedule on the Clarke Daily News .


  1. hoops fan says:

    second gym would be nice!

  2. Lonnie Bishop says:

    A decent, functional auditorium with decent lighting & sound, dressing rooms, and decent storage. It’d be nice if, either here on CDN or on the CCPS or CRA website, we could see the designs that are being discussed. That way, the community (who can’t attend the meetings) could see what the classrooms, the gym, the cafeteria, the auditorium, the music suite & chorus room/dressing rooms, etc. will look like.

  3. Concerned says:

    Agriculture Dept.?

  4. chorus supporter says:

    A classroom for chorus classes so they don’t have to use the stage as their only classroom.

  5. Dave McGuigan says:

    I agree with Lonnie Bishop, architectural plans and design renderings placed on the Clarke County Public Schools website would be great. Transparency and full public disclosure would be a nice change of pace in today’s world of government. And Lonnie is correct, not everyone can make the ever changing board meetings; planning meetings; special planning meetings; special, extra special, planning meetings, etc. Photocopier, scanner, computer, e-mail and presto it could be up on the CCPS website in about an hour. Everybody could see what this thing is supposed to be. Who knows at this point? I certainly have lost track over the years. After 10 years of an embarrassing debacle of how government should work, does anyone know what this facility is going to have in it? Gym? Auditorium? Classrooms (I hate to ask, but you never know)? Bathrooms (Isn’t the lack of them what started this mess in the beginning)? Lockers?
    CCPS has the technology. It is not very difficult. Post a section on the website with the basic site plan, floor plan, architectural elevation rendering and a list of the facilities.

    • Right Winger says:

      [Redacted] They will have a gymnasium and an auditorium, but the auditorium will not be large enough to fit 800 students. Pretty stupid if you ask me. And it doesn’t look like you would be able to expand it at all because it’s in the middle of the school building.

    • Lonnie Bishop says:

      [Redacted] My hunch is that the 2nd floor of the academic wing looks exactly like the 1st floor.

      Not sure why CCPS, or CRA, have not put up the files yet. The auditorium is sized for 680 seats. There are dressing rooms in the “Fine Arts/Multi-Purpose Room” next to the Music Room, but the auditorium has no external access itself.

    • Travis Goodwin says:

      Here’s the link for the middle school, whose plans our School Board purchased.

  6. charlie dick says:

    Bright orange?

    In my time the school colors were burnt orange and navy blue. Burnt orange ain’t bright… somebody is confusing Tennessee orange with the proper shade, methinks.

  7. your time? depression era?

    • Right Winger says:

      This is either the real Charlie Dick, (Patsy Cline’s husband) or one of the former CCHS teachers I know that likes to “stir the pot a bit”. 😉

      • charlie dick says:

        RW should provide as much info about himself as he professes to know about me.

        “I know you are, but what am I?” – Pee Wee Herman

        • Right Winger says:

          But that would take all the fun out of everything!

          Good to see you lurking around, old buddy. How’s the vorpal sword?

          • I think it is funny, RW. You probably have folks all over the county checking for legs covered in w/poison ivy. Of course, you aren’t the only one who got it that day, so it adds to the mystery.

            On another note. I wonder about folks who give a “thumbs down”, based upon the poster, not the message. I see that happens to you, even when you are being nice and/or clever. Do you do that to others? I guess it doesn’t matter (as you told someone else in a previous message). Still, I wonder about human behavior sometimes…

          • Right Winger says:

            I don’t really pay attention to the thumbs thing. It doesn’t matter to me at all.

            I just like to see everyone play by the same rules and get along swimmingly. I don’t like people getting away with things just because of who they are or know.

          • Way Out There says:

            Maybe we should start a thread about government employees who spend too much time online at work.

        • If you really must know, here’s my company:

    • charlie dick says:

      “depression era?”

      Heh. Jimmy made a funny.

      FWIW, CCHS is the result of the consolidation of the Berryville HS (now Berryville Primary) and Boyce Agricultural School (now Boyce Elementary) in the early fifties. The two bells currently in the tower once hung in these buildings. Btw, Boyce Agricultural was one of the last schools of it’s kind in the Commonwealth of Virginia … the agricultural high schools traditionally held commencement at the end of the student’s 11th year.

      So which era are you from, Jimmy-Me-Boy?