FRONT ROYAL – A.S. Rhodes Elementary School students, staff and the community will have to put up with major renovations during the upcoming 2019-2020 school year now that the construction project re-bid process is a go.
“We’re excited to go back out for bid at the end of the month,” said Melody Sheppard, assistant superintendent for administration at Warren County Public Schools (WCPS).
Warren County School Board members learned during a work session tucked into their regular meeting on August 7 that the scheduled bid date is August 20. Bids will be due by September 19 with an expected award date set for October 1, according to Andrew Grant, project architect and department head for the architectural and engineering firm of OWPR Inc. in Blacksburg, VA, who gave School Board members information on the project’s direction.
The re-bid process follows a June decision by the School Board to put the A.S. Rhodes renovation on hold after receiving only one overpriced bid “that was significantly more than what was budgeted for the project,” Sheppard said.
Currently, WCPS has $2.9 million available for the school’s renovations, she added, an amount that takes into account the money already spent on the school’s asbestos abatement and shingled roof work completed this summer, as well as related bid advertising costs.
“We’re looking forward to the project bids coming in under that amount when we get them,” said Sheppard.
Grant outlined several cost reductions in the re-bid, including changing the specification to allow for more competitive pricing for the rooftop units; changing the phasing plans to allow for two-thirds of the school to be renovated in phase one; removing evening and weekend schedule requirements; and reducing the general contingency from $125,000 to $100,000.
Grant told School Board members that he thinks the biggest item that will reduce costs in this next bid advertisement is allowing the contractor to have 75 percent of the school area to start the renovations rather than having to “jump around between classrooms” to do work.
The re-bid will require the contractor to work during the school day rather than alternate hours as proposed in the previous bid, which required work to be done from 3 p.m. until midnight after the school day was done and on weekends.
“There will certainly be growing pains, no doubt, as with any construction project,” said Grant.
Sheppard noted that WCPS personnel are working out details on modular units where classrooms can go while renovations are being completed. She said PE and art classes will be held in the classrooms.
One big pain during the renovations will be lunchtime. “It’ll be inconvenient to go to the cafeteria because it will be by an outside entrance,” Sheppard said, adding that because it is construction, some disruption can be expected.
The timing for the re-bid process also should encourage more contractor bids, said Grant, because more companies will be looking for wintertime work and will be able to hire more available electrical and mechanical subcontractors.
“I think those were two of the biggest factors in why the [previous bid] price was what it was,” he said, referring to what he called “an outrageous” roughly $6 million bid.
WCPS Superintendent Greg Drescher said the project schedule is still anticipated to have the work at A.S. Rhodes finished around the same time next summer.
According to Grant’s summary of the re-bid for the renovations, substantial completion for phase one of the project is slated for March 17, 2020 — taking roughly 5.5 months from the project’s start date — while substantial completion of phase two is scheduled to take three months and be finished by June 12, 2020.
The final completion date for the project is July 10, 2020 for work that includes providing and installing casework and sinks in some classrooms, as well as new flooring throughout the school; constructing a front porch and entry work with new columns and a new concrete handicap access ramp; replacing exterior windows; and replacing the mechanical unit at the multi-purpose building.
Clear Brook woman charged in South Royal Avenue traffic incident
A 44-year-old Frederick County woman has been charged regarding a Monday evening traffic incident on South Royal Avenue in Front Royal. According to the RSW Jail website, Susan Miller Harbaugh, from Clear Brook, Virginia, was booked on two charges, Driving While Intoxicated and Vandalism, Intentional Destruction of Property (monument).
Harbaugh was booked into the jail at 12:29 a.m. Tuesday morning, December 10, and released at 5:28 p.m. that afternoon.
According to Front Royal Police Sgt. Jason Winner, “On December 9, 2019, at approximately 9:50 p.m. FRPD officers were dispatched to the area of the 200 block of South Royal Avenue for a report of an accident. While responding to the area, officers were informed that a vehicle had left the scene of that accident and was traveling North on Royal Avenue.
“Officers located the vehicle that left the accident and conducted a traffic stop. It was determined during the accident investigation that the vehicle had struck a light pole on the side of the road.
That pole was knocked down into the roadway and was struck by another vehicle.”
Harbaugh was apprehended on North Royal Avenue.
Front Royal man arrested after reported shooting in the 200 block of Cloud Street
On November 27, 2019, at approximately 11:55 pm, the Front Royal Police Department responded to a report of a shooting in the 200 block of Cloud Street. When Officers arrived on scene, they encountered a male subject with non-life-threatening injuries, including a gunshot wound to his inner thigh.
Based on investigative findings, a suspect was identified as George Lee Good, 28, of Front Royal. Warrants were obtained on Good for 18.2-51 Maliciously Shoot or Wound; 18.2-53.1 Use of a Firearm in the commission of a felony; and 18.2-308.2 Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Other charges may be forthcoming regarding other involved individuals.
George Good was taken into custody without incident by Winchester Police Department during a DUI checkpoint. Good is currently at Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center where he is being held without bond. This investigation is on-going and anyone with further information is asked to contact Detective D. L. Fogle at (540)636-2208 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three hospitalized after Saturday night Route 55 East head-on collision
A 20-year-old Front Royal woman has been charged with reckless driving in connection with a three-car accident at 10:53 p.m. Saturday evening, December 7, off John Marshall Highway near Linden. According to a Virginia State Police Press Release issued Tuesday afternoon, December 10, a head-on collision between two of the involved vehicles sent the three occupants of those cars to Winchester Medical Center with serious injuries.
The driver of the third vehicle, which was being passed westbound on Route 55/John Marshall Highway 100 feet west of Route 651 (Gore Road), was uninjured.
Virginia State Police Trooper D. Ayers is investigating the accident. That investigation is ongoing.
According to VSP, “A 2014 Chevy Cruze was traveling west on Rt. 55 when it crossed a double solid yellow line and attempted to pass a westbound 2006 Nissan Murano. The Chevy attempted to avoid an approaching eastbound 2006 Hyundai Sonata and collided with the Nissan. That impact caused the Chevy and Hyundai to collide head-on.”
The driver of the Chevy, Brittney N. White, 20, of Front Royal, Va. was charged with reckless driving (46.2-854) passing at a hillcrest. White, along with a 19-year-old female passenger in her car, were two of those transported to Winchester Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries. Both were wearing seat belts.
The driver of the eastbound Hyundai, a 17-year-old female of Front Royal, was also reported to be wearing a seatbelt and was also transported to Winchester Medical Center with serious injuries.
The driver of the Nissan that White was attempting to pass, a 58-year-old male, of Stanley, Va. was uninjured and was also wearing a seat-belt.
The crash remains under investigation.
The Virginia State Police were assisted by the Warren Sheriff’s Office, and Warren County Fire and Rescue.
According to a Warren County Fire and Rescue post on the incident one of the occupants of the head-on collision vehicles had to be cut out by responding units, a process that took 10 minutes. The other injured and uninjured parties were able to self-extricate from the vehicles. Of the incident Warren County Emergency Services wrote:
“Just before 11:00 p.m. on Saturday night, WCFR units were dispatched for a reported motor vehicle traffic crash in the area of John Marshal Highway and Faith Way.
“An EMS unit from Linden Station 4 quickly arrived on the scene to find two vehicles with major damage from what appeared to be a head-on type collision. It was determined that a total of three vehicles were involved in the crash which contained a total of four possible patients. Three patients were able to self-rescue from their vehicles, a fourth was trapped as a result of the crash.
“Crews began to treat the injured victims while firefighters worked to extricate the trapped driver. It took approximately 10 minutes to extricate the trapped patient.
“Three total patients were ground transported to Winchester Trauma Center, the fourth refused any treatment on the scene.
“Crews were assisted on the scene by Warren County Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia State Police.
“Units on the call: Ambulance 4, Medic 1, Medic 10, Rescue Squad 1”
Winter is coming and VDOT is ready
While most in Virginia were enjoying extended summer weather, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has been making plans for snow. Staffing, equipment and materials are in place and ready to go once winter makes an entrance.
Snow by the numbers“Our top priority is to keep motorists safe,” said VDOT Chief of Maintenance and Operations Kevin Gregg. “The Commonwealth has a complex network of roads and bridges, and we prepare year-round to keep Virginia moving when winter weather arrives. Our crews are trained, experienced and equipped to get the job done when those first flakes fall.”
Readiness Resources On-Deck for Winter:
$205 million set aside for winter weather
More than 2,500 VDOT crew members and additional contractors available for snow removal statewide
More than 12,100 pieces of snow-removal equipment, including trucks, loaders and motor graders
Nearly 700,000 tons of salt, sand and treated abrasives and more than 2.4 million gallons of liquid calcium chloride and salt brine
VDOT Plows: Online Snowplow Tracker
Across the state, if snow reaches two inches or more, VDOT activates an online snowplow tracking map. VDOT trucks are equipped with automatic vehicle location technology and can be monitored on the tracker during snow-removal operations.
When Snowflakes Fall: Be Prepared
During winter, it is important to regularly monitor weather forecasts and have a winter weather driving plan ahead of time. When inclement weather arrives, motorists are encouraged to visit 511virginia.org or call 511 for up-to-date information on road and traffic conditions before travel.
Rotary connects our kids: Letters to soldiers for Christmas and a talk with the police chief
Over the weekend, young people from Front Royal Interact/Early Act Clubs came together to write letters to soldiers who had just completed boot camp, and will be spending the holidays away from families. Many thanks to the Rotary Clubs of Warren County and Front Royal, and our good friends at Royal Family Bowling Center for a fun “HyperBowling” and pizza fest. Special thanks to Front Royal Chief of Police, Skyline Middle Interact Liaison and Warren County Rotarian, Kahle Magalis, for speaking with our young people about growing up in Warren County, and what being a leader in this community truly means (leading by example).
If you are interested in your child being part of this wonderful Service Above Self organization, please speak with the Principal at your child’s school or call/text Michael Williams at 540-336-3127.
To view the full photo album, click here.
Gazebo rally for your 2nd Amendment rights
On a cold, dark and damp Monday night, more than 200 citizens gathered at the Gazebo in downtown Front Royal for a rally on 2nd Amendment rights. Ross McVey, Republican Chairman Steve Kurtz, Vice Chair Amber Morris, Warren County Supervisor Dan Murray, Virginia Delegate Michael Webert, representative from Congressman Ben Cline, Tyler Adams and Commonwealth Attorney elect John Bell all spoke at the rally. Comments were read from Town Councilmen Gary Gillespie and Jake Meza, and Delegate Todd Gilbert all in support of our 2nd Amendment rights. The Royal Examiner was there to capture the event:
In the wake of around one thousand people showing up for the Shenandoah County Board Public Hearing on a Resolution of Support for a municipal declaration as a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Community, the Warren County Board of Supervisors’ Public Hearing has been moved to a Special Meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at Warren County High School’s auditorium. The board’s regular meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning at the Warren County Government Center.
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