Amherst County High School. File photo. 

Construction on security upgrades for the entrances of Amherst County High School, Monelison Middle School and Madison Heights Elementary School is expected to begin after the Thanksgiving holiday break.

The vestibule projects are intended to add a layer of security to each school in providing a barrier so all outside visitors have to check in with the school’s main office before gaining access to the rest of the school in the interest of safety.

Similar projects have been completed at the division’s other seven schools but the layout of the last remaining facilities required more work.

Assistant Superintendent William Wells said work at Monelison and Madison Heights Elementary will require a “heavy lift” during the Christmas break.

“By the middle of February we will have those two schools complete,” Wells said of the plans at the Amherst County School Board’s Nov. 14 meeting.

The work at the high school is more extensive and includes an exterior breezeway and a reconfiguration of the main office. Wells said the exterior portion of that project will begin after Thanksgiving, proceed through winter and hopefully will be done during spring break around Easter.

The construction in the interior of the high school will be done in June 2020 so staff won’t be displaced during the school year, according to Wells. While the project’s timeline at that school will be pushed back several weeks he said it’s better than displacing the workers and causing a disruption during school.

The third week of June is targeted for completion of the high school’s overall entrance and main office project, he said.

The work at Madison Heights Elementary cost $42,101, Monelison’s upgrade was tallied at $67,600 and the high school project is $246,166, according to figures presented to the board in September.

The sale of the former Pleasant View Elementary School, which closed in summer 2017, for $250,000 covered the costs of the vestibule projects at all schools except the high school.

The board in September authorized using $266,166 from the division’s capital improvement plan, including a $20,000 contingency, to complete the high school project.

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Reach Justin Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.

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