WJCC Prepares for Summer Construction Projects

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WJCC LogoThree schools in the Williamsburg-James City County school division will see more than $2 million in upgrades and construction over the summer.

Jamestown High School and Clara Byrd Baker and D.J. Montague elementary schools are slated to receive nearly $2.8 million in construction work this summer and next as part of the school division’s annual facilities maintenance.

Jamestown will undergo the most extensive construction, as the school enters its second year of refurbishment and roof replacement. The refurbishment process involves repainting the building, upgrading interior fixtures, and heating and air conditioning upgrades.

The school division schedules buildings on its annual refurbish list based on a number of factors, including age, wear and repairs needed.

The Jamestown project will continue on into a third phase next summer, but WJCC Senior Director for Operations Marcellus Snipes said the project would not disrupt instruction at the school. WJCC’s capital improvement plan for the previous fiscal year, which organizes spending on large-dollar construction projects, identifies nearly $2.7 million for the refurbishment over three phases, continuing through the summer of 2016, and $614,482 for the roof work.

The track and tennis courts at Jamestown will also be upgraded this summer. Both athletic playing fields are original to the school’s 1997 construction. Coaches and players for both teams have called for repairs to be made to the fields, with longtime tennis coach Bob Artis voicing concerns for his players’ safety due to their condition.

The School Board approved a contract to replace the track at its June meeting. A vote on a contract to replace the tennis courts and address a drainage problem nearby is expected to come at the board’s July meeting. The school division earmarked $164,405 to replace the track, and $134,000 to fix the tennis courts.

The school division’s other refurbishment project will be at Clara Byrd Baker Elementary School. In budget talks with James City County and the City of Williamsburg in the winter and spring, the WJCC School Board identified refurbishing the school, which dates to 1989, as a top priority.

The school division’s CIP laid out $1.65 million for the project, which is scheduled to occur next summer.

A fence will also be constructed around the school’s playground, increasing student safety, Snipes said. The funds for that project are included in the appropriation for the refurbish.

D.J. Montague Elementary School is also scheduled to receive a new playground fence, which will cost the school division less than $50,000.

Of the projects scheduled to take place this summer, Snipes said only the Jamestown project was classified as “critical,” as it was begun last year and must be completed.

The school division does not expect construction to disrupt instructional activities at any of the schools, and Snipes said both the Jamestown track and tennis courts would be ready in time for those sports seasons.