Some glitches aside, work marches on in various school construction projects in Fayette County.

At Fayetteville PK-8, new administrative offices and a safe schools entrance are being built, along with a new kitchen and cafeteria. At Midland Trail High School, new administrative offices and a safe schools entrance will be joined by a new life skills/PE classroom.

Over at Oak Hill High School, two science labs are being renovated, as is the auditorium. A new life skills/PE classroom, which is an auxiliary gym, is being added, too.

Finally, at Valley PK-8, a safe schools entrance is being built, and career technical education spaces are being renovated into a cafeteria/warming kitchen for P-K/K. Also, the first P-K/K CTE space in the state is being constructed. As a separate project at Valley that is not part of the bigger renovation push, a playground is complete and is being utilized by the students, according to Tim Payton, director of operations for Fayette County Schools.

“Fayetteville, Oak Hill and Valley are on schedule but we are couple of weeks behind at Midland Trail due to some electrical issues,” said Payton. “Those have been resolved and we are looking for ways to get the schedule back on track.

“There have been some delays on the delivery of materials, but we are looking at long lead times to try to overcome any delays. The projects are scheduled to be completed in March and we are on schedule for that.”

“The overall scope has not changed, but there have been a few encounters with unknowns that have had to be addressed with some wiring and plumbing issues, but that is par for the course,” Payton continued. “(There’s been) Nothing serious. Even though Midland Trail is a couple weeks behind, all projects are scheduled to be completed in March 2021.”

Current school operations have been slightly inhibited while the work is ongoing, Payton says. “We have had to be a little creative in getting supplies into a couple of our schools, but the construction company has been great to work with and very cooperative. They know that the safety of our students and staff is the most important objective.”

Swope Construction is the main contractor for each project. To combat possible Covid-19-related scenarios on the school campuses, Swope “has implemented several safety measures to include daily temperature checks, face coverings, limited interaction with school staff and others.”

The overall renovation project has a $15.2 million price tag and is funded by the School Building Authority ($13.2 million) and Fayette County Schools ($2 million).

Payton remains enthusiastic about the prospects for the county school system as the work moves forward.

“We’re excited to see the projects taking shape and making progress,” he noted. “These projects, along with our corrective maintenance plans and future improvement projects, will continue to enhance learning opportunities for our students. It will also improve the work environment for our staff.

“It’s great to see the support of the School Building Authority, the West Virginia Board of Education, the Fayette County Board of Education, and the community.”

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While ground has yet to broken for another future project, advancement is occurring. The Meadow Bridge Regional PK-12 School design “is almost complete,” Payton said.

The school will include a school health center, and some final design resolutions for that portion of the project are being awaited.

McKinley Architecture and Engineering is designing the school, which will be fully funded by the West Virginia School Building Authority at a cost of $20,012,448.

“The project is scheduled to go out for bid in January or February and we look to break ground this summer,” said Payton.

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