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In a rare covid bonus, empty schools are boon to construction work

Contractor D.H. Griffin was able to move ahead on demolishing the old gym at HHS. Contractor D.H. Griffin was able to move ahead on demolishing the old gym at HHS.

Work is moving faster than scheduled at three major school construction projects as contractors take advantage of campuses cleared of students.

 

"I have never been in more construction meetings where we've talked about being ahead of schedule," Henderson County Associate schools Superintendent John Bryant told the School Board on Monday. "There's significant foundation work going on" for the chorus room, band room and shop. "We're excited about this work. I'm glad to see them doing critical work when it's not a disruption on the campus."

With students off campus since March 13, contractors have been able to do work they could not have done with schools open, including demolishing the old gym at Hendersonville High School and working much quicker on new HVAC systems at Flat Rock and Rugby middle schools.The vacant schools also has allowed the school system to wire both middle schools for security cameras.

"Empty buildings allow us to do things a little bit differently," Bryant said.

Demolition of the old gym had not been scheduled until this summer. Contractors are also moving ahead on the parking lot and scaffolding is also going up for repointing the exterior brick of the Stillwell building.

"This is work that was scheduled a year from now," Bryant said.

Granite from the old gym is being stored at Jackson Park. Some of the stones will be used for a monumental sign at U.S. 25 and Oakland Street.