Work is expected to begin April 1 on the Decatur school district’s oldest building to turn it into future administration offices.
The building, constructed in 1939 as a high school, is located near the corner of South Cates and East Ward streets. It was most recently the temporary home of Weatherford College Wise County but has served many uses to the school district over the years.
The project is expected to take 225 days and cost an estimated $2.6 million. Mart Inc., the contractor for the project, will be paid $2.3 million of that total. If the project remains on schedule, the restored building should be ready for the administration office move near the end of the calendar year.
The technology department will then move into the current administration building. The department, which handles the estimated 3,700 computers and iPads in the district as well as its network operations system, has outgrown its space in a smaller building next door to the current administration building.
One of the biggest issues for the technology department is the lack of space for technology training. Seventeen people can squeeze into the current training area, but the group often includes 20 or more. Other issues include a lack of parking and bathroom facilities for training, limited shop space, an aging building (which has flooded during heavy rains in the past), a storage bay that is not climate-controlled, security issues and the overall age of the building, which was once part of an old elementary school torn down in the 1990s.
The restored 1939 building will provide enough space for current administration office requirements and also includes room for future growth, Superintendent Rod Townsend said.
Perhaps the most noticeable change for visitors will be the interior front entryway, where the dropped ceiling will be removed, revealing intricate detail of the original building. Also, several rows of seats were removed from the front of the auditorium, which will be turned into a boardroom. The front of the stage will be removed, and the board will sit at floor level. The rest of the stage will be walled off and turned into a meeting room.
The remodeled auditorium will be a much larger space than the current boardroom, where parents and educators often find standing-room only for the beginning of board meetings where school employees and students are recognized for their accomplishments.
Part of the 1939 building has been used for administration offices before. At that time, the building was also used for part of the middle school.
The district’s alternative education placement (DAEP) program will continue to use the bottom floor of the building.
When the technology department moves into the current administration building, the department’s current home will most likely be used for storage.
The building restoration and renovation will be paid for by money available in the district’s construction fund and a $250,000 transfer from the district’s general fund. It will not affect the tax rate.
BY THE NUMBERS
Here’s a breakdown of the estimated costs presented to the school board at last Monday’s meeting:
- $119,262 – general conditions (supervision, trash, overhead)
- $115,000 – owner allowances (includes irrigation, landscaping, sound attenuation, a sign and monument plaque and contingency)
- $87,414 – demolition
- $2,500 – masonry
- $9,795 – structural steel (for HVAC support)
- $61,136 – millwork (restoration)
- $21,113 – exterior insulation and finishing system
- $164,836 – roof replacement
- $72,243 – interior doors/frames/hardware
- $65,000 – storefront and glazing
- $118,200 – drywall/metal studs/ceilings
- $86,191 – flooring
- $73,000 – painting
- $12,148 – specialties (miscellaneous)
- $35,800 – plumbing
- $571,000 – HVAC (includes new chilling unit)
- $196,743 – electrical
- $11,900 – fire alarm
- $104,989 – overhead/profit
- $3,841 – insurance
- $28,495 – bonds
- $157,000 – boardroom remodel
- $110,000 – exterior efficient windows
- $16,000 – waterproofing exterior
- $30,000 – additional engineering fees
- $28,000 – asbestos abatement
- $50,000 – parking
- $25,145 – Oncor
- $15,000 – building boardroom training room/technology for board
- $50,000 – furniture, equipment, kitchen items
- $105,000 – cost of moving technology department
- $5,000 – impact fees and permits for work by owner