CCPS administrators with State Superintendent of Maryland Schools Karen B. Salmon, center, visit a Automotive Services class at the Carroll County Career and Technology Center in Westminster Tuesday, April 16, 2019.
CCPS administrators with State Superintendent of Maryland Schools Karen B. Salmon, center, visit a Automotive Services class at the Carroll County Career and Technology Center in Westminster Tuesday, April 16, 2019. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

The funding numbers for the renovation of the Carroll County Career and Technology Center are still broad placeholders, but discussions between educators and the project’s architecture firm are working to customize the building plan.

The Board of Education heard an update on the plans, which will include an addition to the facility, during a Wednesday work session. The previous time they heard an update was in November, at a schematic design work session.

Advertisement

“Remember, you as the Board of Education have approval authority at every stage of the project development,” Carroll schools Superintendent Steve Lockard said.

Jeff Hagan presented on behalf of architecture firm Hord Coplan Macht. His expertise is in designing schools in Maryland.

Hagan said they were midway through the design and development phase, so there was a lot of information still to be gathered.

The square foot estimate has not changed much and is still about 193,000 square feet.

Carroll school system continues to make case for county funding amid $1 million shortfall

The Carroll County Board of Education and the Board of County Commissioners remain locked in negotiations that center on a $1 million shortfall.

Meetings with educators at the Tech Center over the past few months have shaped the engineers’ plans for how the building will be laid out, Hagan said. They’ve gotten in touch with all of programs about how they use their spaces, where they need to be located in the building and the specific equipment they use.

“We’re designing to Carroll County and how they use their Career and Tech Center” Hagan said. “We love the process. It gets us out of the office, so we like that too.”

Unrefined numbers put the full project cost at $67.6 million. This breaks down into construction, phasing, furniture and equipment, and other areas.

Right now the best estimate of funding is about $34 million locally, which is included in the budget that the Board of County Commissioners is working to approve by May 30.

Based on state worksheets that take into consideration the amount of square feet to be renovated, the estimate comes out to $35 million from the state, said Bill Caine, facility planner at the CCPS Facilities Management Department.

Since November, there have been several changes to the design based on findings from engineers, changes to funding and meetings with Tech Center educators.

A slide from the presentation on the renovation/addition of the Carroll County Career and Technology Center lays out some of the changes to the design made since it was last presented to the Board of Education.
A slide from the presentation on the renovation/addition of the Carroll County Career and Technology Center lays out some of the changes to the design made since it was last presented to the Board of Education. (Catalina Righter / Carroll County Public Schools)

For example, the second story is now smaller in order to save money on reinforcements for snow loads.

“It’s these small little nuggets of information that we’re figuring out as we work through the process,” Hagan said. “This is what we do on every project.”

Another change was moving the Computer Resources Center and the Career and Technology Service Team into the center of the building on the first floor where they can be more easily accessed by everyone in the building.

Still, the overall concept has not changed since November, Hagan said.

Advertisement

The addition will still be three stories, with the auto shop taking up a large portion of the lowest floor. The main level or first floor, where there is a public entrance, will host cosmetology, culinary, fashion and similar programs that bring in outside customers. Above that, health and allied services, and print and video production will share the second floor in separate suites. The main entry will move to the opposite side of the building, closest to Westminster High School. There will also be some changes to the bus loop and parking.

Grade changes on the site result in the building being fairly asymmetrical, Hagan said.

“We’re kind of nestling it into the grade so we don’t have to spend a lot of extra money on re-grading, “ he said.

Board of Education President Donna Sivigny asked whether that would cause any access problems, but Hagan said it would not.

A slide from the presentation on the renovation/addition of the Carroll County Career and Technology Center looks at budget estimates for the project.
A slide from the presentation on the renovation/addition of the Carroll County Career and Technology Center looks at budget estimates for the project. (Courtesy Photo / Carroll County Public Schools)

They still estimate that the construction will take 48 months.

A tentative plan for the phases of construction includes building the addition first. That would make “swing space” where programs can move while renovations are taking place in the existing building, sort of a “domino effect,” Hagan said. This is not set in stone and might change when construction management comes on board.

Next steps are submitting the schematic, which is set to finished in June, to the state to bring them on board and learn how much they will participate for funding.

Also in June, the school board will look to approve construction management services for the project during its monthly meeting.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement