February 21, 2023

Referendum: Rebuild vs. Renovate

Why Rebuild H.C. Storm and Louise White Schools

H.C. Storm and Louise White schools, built in 1978, may appear to be in decent shape from the outside, but they need extensive upgrades. Renovating these schools would involve updating every aspect of the building, including:

  • Adding a secure main entrance and vestibule
  • Replacement of interior hanging metal walls and interior doors
  • Replacement of floors, ceilings, and lighting
  • Replacement of roof, exterior doors, and windows
  • Tuckpointing exterior brick walls and replacement of sidewalks
  • Mechanical equipment and chiller replacement
  • Adding a parking lot and separate bus driveway (HCS only)

In addition to these renovations, the schools need updates to meet modern educational program requirements, including:

  • A science/STEM studio
  • Suitable special education spaces
  • Improved restrooms for cleanliness and privacy

The extent of the renovations in terms of cost and area (square footage) would also trigger compliance with modern building codes, such as fire sprinklers and an alarm system, as well as full ADA accessibility and a storm shelter.

Moreover, any renovation work would require years of intricate phased construction, which would displace students and result in costly mobile classrooms or transportation to other schools, with no return on investment.

In conclusion, addressing all the needs of these schools through renovations would cost taxpayers $10-12 million more per school than simply rebuilding them.