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Spring Mills Primary School about 85 percent complete

Officials are hoping to obtain LEED certification for the buiding

January 11, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Berkeley County's first "green" school at the Spring Mills campus is about 85 percent complete, the school district's construction manager told Board of Education members Tuesday night.

Spring Mills Primary School is slated to open this fall, but Don Zepp said officials hope to turn the school's geothermal heating and cooling system on by the end of the week.

Contractors drilled 60 wells, each 450 feet deep, into the earth to support the school's innovative mechanical system, Zepp said.

Tests of the system already have yielded positive results. Zepp said long-term energy savings are expected to be gained with the environmentally-friendly design.

The system's function will be continually monitored, and Zepp said an initial two-year contract is in place.

After the meeting, Berkeley County Schools Superintendent Manny P. Arvon said school officials are hoping to obtain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design  certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for the building.

Also under way on the Spring Mills campus is site work for Berkeley County's fourth public high school, Zepp said.

Bridgeport, W.Va.-based Bear Contracting LLC in November was awarded a contract for the $2.2-million project.

"They just moved all of their equipment in," Zepp said. "They're putting the silt fence up, we're getting ready to do the first primary storm-drainage pond."

The high school to be built on about 50 acres at Spring Mills is the largest building (by square footage) so far in the history of the state School Building Authority's construction program, Arvon said Tuesday.

The SBA was created by state lawmakers in 1989 to facilitate and provide state funding for construction and maintenance of schools statewide.

School officials intend to advertise the project after the SBA and other state agencies complete final evaluation of general construction drawings, Arvon said.  

"We're excited about that plan, we're excited about the interior, (the) whole educational campus (at Spring Mills) is something that's going to be great, especially for the citizens living in that area," Arvon said.

Zepp said he hopes the school board is able to award a general construction bid for the high school sometime in March as part of plan to get at least part of the new school under roof by next winter.

School officials hope to open the new high school in 2013.

Zepp said they plan to separately advertise construction of the athletic fields for the new high school as part of a plan to save money.

A bicycle/walking path will connect all three schools at the Spring Mills campus, Arvon said.

In other projects, Zepp said work on 20-classroom additions at Martinsburg North Middle School and Musselman High School was moving forward, and both projects are still on track to be completed this year.

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