By Aila Boyd
The Botetourt County School Board received an update regarding the progress of the new Colonial Elementary School last Thursday from Jim Whitten, capital projects manager for the county.
“In five weeks, it has progressed enormously,” Whitten said of the work that has been completed on the school since the photos that were shown during the meeting were taken at the end of July. “I’m happy to say that it looks like we’re going to be right on time.”
Tim Davidick, who represents the Valley District, commented, “To be this far along, to being this close to actually hitting our target is pretty remarkable.”
At the time of the meeting 90 percent of the building had been bricked and painted.
Whitten explained that large portions of the roof, parking lots, curbing, and sidewalks have been installed. Additionally, the loading ramp area has been completed.
Area B, which will house third, fourth, and fifth graders, is completely painted. Ceiling tiles are in the process of being installed in that area.
The preschool area has been bricked and ceiling tiles are being installed.
Water and electricity have been installed at the school, Whitten said. The chiller system has also been installed.
In the near future, he said, the bus canopy will be put into place.
As for the administrative portion of the school, all of the walls have been erected and electrical features have been installed.
“The media center is pretty much complete,” Whitten said. “We’re dropping down ceilings to cover up the ductwork in the cafetorium. All of the plumbing and electrical is done in the kitchen area.”
The week before last, the Virginia Department of Transportation started work on the new road for the school.
Michelle Crook, chair of the board, noted that she recently went on a hardhat tour of the new school with members of the Botetourt County Economic Development Authority.
“One thing I learned that day is that Mr. Whitten has the ability as an inspector to approve or not approve right on site, so you’ve been able to keep everything humming along,” she said.
Whitten noted that several months have been shaved off of the project because he is able to approve the work immediately, instead of having to wait two or three days for an inspector to come out and review what is being done.