Construction of RVHS addition under way
The second semester at Royal Valley High School started with a bang last week as a demolition crew tore down the auxiliary building on the south side of the school to make way for a new two-story addition.
The addition to the high school building will include new classrooms for band, art and agricultural students, as well as a recording studio and computer lab for audio-visual classes.
“I’m excited to see what new facilities can do to help build additional programs and activities for our kids,” said RV Superintendent Davis said.
In August, members of the Royal Valley Board of Education opened three bids for the project, which was awarded to Shirley Construction of Topeka for a total cost of $3,005,866.
The lower level of the addition will include a new ag room with more space for hands-on projects, as well as a computer lab for audio-visual classes and a recording studio. Bathrooms and additional storage are also included in the floor plans.
The new band room and art room will be on the main floor of the addition. The new band room will be about twice the size of the current band room and will include a storage room for instruments, three practice rooms and an office.
The new art room on the main will be similar in size to the current art room and will also include an area for storage.
Both stories of the addition will connect to current hallway corridors at the high school.
Davis estimated that the auxiliary building was originally built in the 1970s for woodshop classes. An addition was later added to the building in the 1980s.
The auxiliary building was not attached directly to the school and required students to leave the main high school building to enter those classrooms.
Last Wednesday, construction crews began demolishing the building. The entire renovation area has been fenced off during construction. Davis said that the foundation for the new addition could be poured as early as the end of the month.
Davis said that Shirley Construction has 12 to 18 months to complete the project. The goal is for it to be finished by the first week of December this year.
Prior to the holiday break, the three classes affected by the renovation were moved into the main building.
“I’m very appreciative of our teaching staff and our custodians for all the hard work they had to do to relocate three big classrooms in the middle of the year. They put a lot of hard work into doing that,” Davis said.
The band classroom has been temporarily relocated to the wrestling room.
Davis said that RVHS has two part-time teachers who had separate classrooms. Those two teachers are now sharing a previously empty classroom and their former classrooms are now being utilized by ag and art students.
The district also rented two 40-foot containers to store items in during construction, Davis said.
The school held a small “demolition” ceremony last Wednesday morning that included Davis, teachers, students, building administrators and members of the board of education.
“Moving means change, which can bring some headaches, but I do believe that all the teachers involved can see the positive at the end of this, and they are excited,” Davis said.
Last spring, the board secured a new $5.3 million lease purchase with a 2.779 percent interest rate, a portion of which will be used to build the new addition.
Lease purchase funds are also being used to renovate the front office and library at the middle school. Last September, the board accepted the low bid of $694,266 from Shirley Construction for the renovation of the RVMS office area and HVAC upgrades.
The school office will be moved to the front of the building, which will relocate the RVMS library. Construction of that project is set to begin this summer.