Construction is expected to begin next summer on the $29 million limited renovation of Joppatowne High School.
The plans and design for the were approved unanimously Monday night by the Harford County Board of Education and will be sent to the Interagency Commission on School Construction by Aug. 30 for approval. Design plans will go to the IAC by Oct. 31, with 95 percent of constructions documents to the group by March 20. The construction bidding and building permit should begin by mid-April with construction to follow beginning July 1.
Construction is expected to take 18 to 24 months.
The board also awarded a contract for $300,000 to Oak Contracting LLC for pre-construction management services for the project.
“When it’s done, walking into Joppatowne High School will be just like walking into many of our newer high school facilities,” Cornell Brown, assistant superintendent of operations for Harford County Public Schools, told the board members at their meeting.
Some of the structural settlements over the years will be addressed, according to Michael Campbell of Banta Campbell architects, who presented the designs and plans to the school board.
The wall on the south side of the auditorium and music wing has suffered water damage behind the brick, which will be removed. The wall will be waterproofed and new brick will be installed. All the windows in the building will also be replaced with energy efficient windows.
The school will get a new HVAC system and new electrical and water services, a new fire alarm system and an upgraded sprinkler system, Campbell said.
Toilets and bathroom fixtures, as well as lockers, will all be made ADA compliant.
“They’re all things that are going to make the building work,” he said.
The central office will be brought forward from the center of the building with a view of the bus lot and a secure entrance, Campbell told the board.
“After anyone comes in the doors close and anyone arriving will have to go through the office,” he said.
Educational needs will also be part of the renovation.
“Many of the programs existed in the school in very much makeshift — very creative makeshift — fashion, the school has done to make the best use of the spaces they have," Campbell said.
The Homeland Security signature program will get more space — room for mock trials in the multipurpose room in addition to more classroom space, the child development lab and music wing will have spaces of their own, the professional labs will be vastly improved, and the family and consumer services spaces will be upgraded to be comparable to other Harford County high schools, according to Campbell.
Spaces will also be added for graphic and science labs, the Harford Community College early college program, special education life skills and a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) program, for which an application has been submitted.
Outside, the parking lot will be repaved and re-striped, the drive to the stadium will be widened, and handicap parking will be moved to the front of the building and by the tennis courts.