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School board approves two awards for A.S. Rhodes renovations

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A. S. Rhodes Elementary School

The Warren County School Board on Tuesday, November 19, unanimously approved two awards for the 21,070-square-feet of renovations planned for A.S. Rhodes Elementary School that will include new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

The board members voted 4-0, with school board member Donna McEathron absent, to award an almost $3.1 million contract to Lantz Construction Company of Winchester Inc. (LCW) for the renovation of A. S. Rhodes Elementary School.

LCW in September originally submitted a total $5.26 million project bid, which included a $3.38 million base bid to create a secure front entrance to the building; move the main office to the front of the building; make the restrooms ADA-compliant; put in new floors and a new ceiling; and provide ductwork for the HVAC units.

In addition to the base bid, the LCW project bid also included 13 alternate bid items totaling almost $1.9 million for replacing the flat roof system; providing and installing casework and sinks in several classrooms; constructing new columns on the front of the building; and providing and installing six HVAC units, among other items, according to the Winchester, Va.-based company’s bid tabulation sheet.

Melody Sheppard discusses A.S. Rhodes renovation project with the board. Photos and video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

Melody Sheppard, the Warren County Public Schools (WCPS) Assistant Superintendent for Administration, told School Board members that the district currently has approximately $3.51 million available for the school’s renovation — $2.27 million from a Warren County Middle School project; $119,915 from WCPS capital improvement funds; and roughly $1.12 million from Warren County capital funding.

“These funds are available to complete the work included in the base bid of the renovation project and to temporarily place modular classrooms on the property to be used as classroom space,” Sheppard said.

Sheppard said WCPS “worked with LCW to value engineer the base bid and have negotiated a cost of $3,096,300,” down from LCW’s original base bid of $3.38 million.

Sheppard also told School Board members that the Warren County Board of Supervisors tonight would consider allotting WCPS another $600,000 for the renovation project that would be used for the new HVAC units.

Following the board’s approval of the contract award to LCW, Sheppard called the forthcoming project “exciting.”

In related action, the School Board members voted 4-0 to award a $102,226 contract to Modular Genius of Joppa, Md., for four temporary modular classrooms that will be placed at A.S. Rhodes Elementary School during the renovation.

Greg Livesay, WCPS maintenance director.

Greg Livesay, WCPS maintenance director, told members that the four modular classrooms will be under one roof with fully ADA-compliant steps and ramps for access, and located on the asphalt play court adjacent to the school’s multi-purpose gymnasium building.

The modular classrooms are set for a January 1, 2020 delivery date, said Livesay, who added that based on the construction schedule, the temporary classrooms would be needed for a period of six months and would be removed before the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

It will likely take almost the entire month of January 2020 to then get the classrooms set up, he said, noting that new electrical also must be installed because the gym doesn’t have the additional capacity to serve the modular classrooms.

WCPS on October 11 received four solicited proposals to provide and erect the four modular classrooms as part of the A.S. Rhodes renovation project. The temporary classrooms are needed to create the necessary swing or empty space within the main school building that will allow the general contractor to complete the renovations in two separate phases, said Livesay.

Voting tonight were School Board members Chairwoman Catherine Bower; Arnold Williams, Jr.; C. Douglas Rosen; and James Wells. The next Warren County School Board meeting is scheduled for Wed., December 4 at 7 p.m.

At the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, November 19, 2019, the board approved all funding requests for the A.S. Rhodes project.

Royal Examiner covered the Tuesday night meeting. Watch the entire video below.

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Community Events

Riverton Church Symphonic Winds Christmas Concert

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The Riverton Church Symphonic Winds presented their annual Christmas Concert on December 8, 2019. The Royal Examiner’s camera was their to capture the event. The Riverton Church will be hold two special Christmas Eve services. At 4 pm will be their family service and at 7 pm a candlelight service.

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Do you want to travel to someplace warm?

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During the winter month, we complain about the cold but what can we do about it? Ginny Leser at Main Street Travel has some suggestions.

For more information about Main Street Travel, visit their website: http://mainstreet-travel.com/

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Community Events

Valley Chorale of Front Royal Annual Christmas Concert

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The Valley Chorale of Front Royal performs their annual Christmas Concert at the Front Royal Presbyterian Church. Photo and video  by Mike McCool, Royal Examiner.

The Valley Chorale of Front Royal (formerly the Front Royal Oratorio Society) held it’s annual Hometown Christmas Concert Sunday afternoon, December 8th at the Front Royal Presbyterian Church. The Chorale has been bringing choral music to the northern Shenandoah Valley since 1965. As the area’s longest-established community chorus, their aim is to put great choral music at the heart of civic and community life and, in so doing, entertain, illuminate and uplift our families, friends and neighbors. The men, women and youth in their current roster of singers come from Frederick, Clarke, Warren, and Rappahannock counties.

This year the Chorale has a new Artistic Director, Dr. Ryan Keebaugh at the helm. Noted for his “energetic, expressive, concise, insightful, and sensitive” conducting (The Washington Post), Ryan’s versatile and vibrant musicianship has distinguished him as a leading music educator and conductor.

At the end on the concert two young ‘future members’ joined the chorale for the encore number. They welcomed Amanda Baldwin, age 10 and Stephanie Fultz, age 8 to join them on stage.

For more information on the Valley Choral of Front Royal visit their website at: http://valleychoraleoffrontroyal.org/

The Royal Examiner was their and shares the concert with you.

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WATCH: Christmas Parade 2019

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Niki Foster Cales, Executive Director of the Front Royal/Warren County Chamber of Commerce and Mike McCool, publisher of the Royal Examiner at the 2019 Christmas Parade in Front Royal. Photo and video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

If you missed the Christmas Parade or want to see it again, sit back and enjoy!

This year the Christmas Parade was hosted by Mike McCool, Publisher of the Royal Examiner. Thanks to Mark Williams from National Media Services, Inc., for providing the video.

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Boy Scout Troop 52 continues tradition of selling Christmas Trees at Royal Plaza Center

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Royal Examiner publisher Mike McCool on Boy Scout Troop 52 Christmas Tree lot speaking to Hoss Feldhauser. Photo and video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

Boy Scout Troop 52 has been selling Christmas trees for 51 years; it is the main fundraiser for the troop. An estimated 15,000 trees have been sold over the years; many Scouts have learned the basics of salesmanship, marketing, and commercial forestry through the Troop’s Christmas tree sales program.

Christmas tree sales were first introduced to the troop by the efforts of Ken Fortune, Assistant Scoutmaster and Ken Bovard, Scoutmaster in December of 1968. The troop purchased trees from a farm in Bentonville that first year, and shortly after that, they branched out and purchased some of their trees from the Rudacille farm.

During the first 20 years, the troop bought the Christmas trees from various tree farms in Virginia and as far away as Pennsylvania. In 1979 Dr. Craig Zunka, a long time member and Eagle Scout from the troop, agreed that the Troop could plant trees on his farm in Browntown.

Depending on the variety of the tree, it takes from 6 to as much as 12 years from the time a scout plants a Christmas tree that it is ready for sale.

Since then, Dr. Zunka has overseen the planting and care of the trees on his tree farm for the Troop. The number of trees the scouts plant every year as well as the number of trees harvested depend largely upon the weather and the type of trees.

The Scouts learned how to plant the seedlings, how to properly trim the different variety of trees and the need to keep the weeds from growing around the bases.

The first tree sales were held on the “Weaver lot” across from the old Front Royal Volunteer fire station that was beside what was then Town Hall. Peyton Street now runs through where the Troop had its first tree sales lot.

It was just after the 1969 tree sales that Bill Ollinger, manager of the Safeway store in the Royal Plaza shopping center, invited the troop to set-up the 1970 tree sales next to his grocery store, and they have been selling trees somewhere on the property of the Royal Plaza shopping center ever since. The Troop has enjoyed and appreciated the support from the merchants in the shopping center that have been received for all these years!

All of the profits from the tree sales go into the Troops operating account to pay for advancement awards and activities of the troop. They also pay for the Scouts cost towards summer camp.

Royal Examiner stopped by the lot and spoke to Ronald “Hoss” Feldhauser:

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Downtown Front Royal Christmastime Pop-Up Store

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Royal Examiner stopped by the store and spoke to a few of the proprietors. Photo and video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

They’re temporary and they seem to appear out of nowhere: Christmas pop-up shops are an iconic fixture of the holiday season. These shops that appear in empty storefronts are part of the national culture, with handcrafted items, gifts and decorations to make your house look like Christmas. One such store has popped up on Main Street in Front Royal, and is open everyday until Christmas.

The pop-up store is a collaboration of Strokes of Creativity Art Boutique & Studio and Main Street Travel. This 2-month Holiday Market Pop-Up offers small business and artisans a brick and mortar to sell their items. The Holiday Market is in the Kibler Building at 206 E. Main Street, Front Royal, VA.

Royal Examiner stopped by the store and spoke to a few of the proprietors:

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‘Tis the Season

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Upcoming Events

Dec
10
Tue
4:30 pm Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 10 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Tuesday, December 3: Kids will explore popular books and book series through science, games, food, and more! After reading a Christmas story, we’ll discuss giving and how it affects us and the people around us.[...]
Dec
11
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 11 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]
Dec
12
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 12 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]
Dec
13
Fri
6:00 pm Holiday Open House @ Ruby Yoga
Holiday Open House @ Ruby Yoga
Dec 13 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Holiday Open House @ Ruby Yoga
Ruby Yoga will host a Holiday Open House Friday, Dec. 13. Doors open at 6 p.m. with free gentle yoga starting at 6:20, followed by refreshments and door prize drawings.
7:30 pm Canticum Novum: Sing a New Song @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
Canticum Novum: Sing a New Song @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
Dec 13 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Canticum Novum: Sing a New Song @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
The Blue Ridge Singers presents its 2019 Christmas concert titled “Canticum Novum:  Sing a New Song” featuring some of the finest Christmas choral music across the centuries at one of the most popular events in[...]
Dec
14
Sat
11:00 am Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 14 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
December 14 is the 220th anniversary of George Washington’s death. Today we will learn more about this great leader of our country and celebrate his legacy. Refreshments will be served. For ages 7 to 18.[...]
Dec
15
Sun
4:00 pm R-MA Hosts Community Christmas C... @ Randolph-Macon Academy | Boggs Chapel
R-MA Hosts Community Christmas C... @ Randolph-Macon Academy | Boggs Chapel
Dec 15 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
R-MA Hosts Community Christmas Concert @ Randolph-Macon Academy | Boggs Chapel
The local community is invited to join the Randolph-Macon Academy family for an afternoon of holiday spirit with the R-MA Band and Chorus! The annual R-MA Christmas Concert will be held on Sunday, December 15th,[...]
Dec
17
Tue
4:30 pm Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 17 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Tuesday, December 3: Kids will explore popular books and book series through science, games, food, and more! After reading a Christmas story, we’ll discuss giving and how it affects us and the people around us.[...]
7:30 pm Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA Campus
Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA Campus
Dec 17 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA Campus
Christmas Concert | Presented by the American Legion Community Band Tuesday, December 17, 2019, at 7:30 pm Boggs Chapel on the R-MA campus in Front Royal, VA
Dec
18
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 18 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]