Bond projects moving ahead

PARKERSBURG – Wood County Schools will be working on multiple facilities in 2018 as part of the district’s $41 million bond project.

Last year, Wood County voters approved the facilities bond which will be used to construct a new elementary school in Williamstown, expand the high school in Williamstown, and complete roof replacements on more than a dozen Wood County Schools facilities.

In December, the board was awarded $7.4 for million by the state School Building Authority for expansion and improvement of the Wood County Technical Center. The money will supplement $1.5 million in bond money for the Center.

Assistant Superintendent Mike Fling said the early part of 2018 will be putting items out for bid for the various projects.

“We anticipate the Williamstown Elementary School project to go to bid around the third week of January,” he said. “It will be out for bid for about three weeks, with the bid awarded in mid-February and construction to begin in mid-March.”

Demolition of the former Fenton Art Glass plant is continuing, though right now it is mostly asbestos abatement inside the building, Fling said. Fencing has been put up around the property in anticipation of demolition.

The new elementary school will occupy the parking lots which surround the Fenton Gift Shop and factory. A playground will be constructed where the plant warehouse now stands.

Fling said officials are still negotiating the purchase of two properties adjacent to Williamstown High School.

“Once those properties have been purchased, demolition of those properties can begin and then we’ll move on with the process of building there,” he said.

Roof replacements began this past summer, and Fling said more will happen in the summer of 2018.

“It’s all done over the summer when students are not in the buildings,” he said. “We typically try to set aside 10 weeks to complete those projects.”

Fling said the district will announce which schools will have their roofs replaced in 2018. Officials are staggering the roof replacements.

“We’re breaking them down by square feet rather than a number of buildings,” he said. “Last summer we were able to put down just over 300,000 square feet. We have a total of about 10 million square feet of roofing on our buildings, so our goal is to complete 300,000 square feet or more each summer over a three-year period.”

Fling said the expansion of the Wood County Technical Center is still in the design phase.

, but officials hope to build a two-story addition to the building as well as making changes and improvements to the current facility. The new construction likely will take place while classes are in session, he said, but the disruption should be minimal and the project should proceed at a quick pace.

“I anticipate we will be able to move quickly there, as we don’t need to purchase any property, he said. “Since there is now SBA money involved, the SBA is also part of the design and development process.”