Board turns its attention to WAHS improvements

With the current building projects in the Warren County School District all in the construction phase, the district’s administration is exploring what’s next.

And that would be Warren Area High School.

During the school board’s Physical Plant and Facilities Committee meeting this week, Dr. Norbert Kennerknecht, director of buildings and grounds, said there is a need to begin to look at a renovation project at WAHS because, for state reimbursement purposes, the district’s Master Facilities Plan cannot be more than two years old to maintain eligibility.

The MFP was last updated via amendment in March 2012.

According to the original MFP, dated October 2008, WAHS was cited as in need for a moderate renovation which “includes bringing (the) facility up to current codes and could include replacement or upgrades to building components and some minor reconfiguration of interior spaces.”

A steering committee, comprised of district staff and community members which helped craft the MFP, placed a renovation at WAHS in phase three of renovations and noted that “it is suggested that the projects be phased in during the next 5-10 years.”

The facility, which was built in 1961 and is 140,523 square feet, has not undergone any significant restoration since construction.

The MFP also offered an educational adequacy rating which is determined “based on its appropriateness for 21st century educational best practices, including size and quantity of classrooms for each program area.” The 2008 report listed WAHS as “fair” in this area.

According to an estimate in the plan would cost $14.63 million.

The report says, “The exterior envelopes (walls/windows) needs to be replaced and other interior requirements are needed,” additionally noting that the “current facility needs updated.”

The 2012 amendment to the MFP moved the renovation from moderate to major which “includes creating appropriate learning environments and extensive renovation to bring the building up to current codes…. After undergoing a major renovation, an existing building should be comparable to a new building.”

The amendment maintains the $14.63 million estimate.