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Crews Hard at Work on 1st Phase on Madison HS Renovation

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Crews work to revamp Madison County HS this summer Crews work to revamp Madison County HS this summer
MADISON COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

Construction crews are currently fixing problems that date back decades deep inside Madison County High School.

Crews gutted the building over summer break. Some classrooms are down to the bare ground beneath the building's foundation. This is the first phase of a $10 million makeover of the mechanical "belly" of the building.

Madison County Schools Superintendent Matthew Eberhardt sees success through construction chaos – but also reminds the community not to expect a brand-new high school.

“It looks like progress. It's also a really big mess right now,” said Eberhardt.

Crews are working through summer break to complete a major mechanical makeover of the high school. It's the first big fix in decades.

“When we took down all those ceilings, we found problems that go back to 1958,” said Eberhardt.

Crews uncovered asbestos around pipes and in the floor of one classroom. That's been removed, along with individual heating and air conditioning units.

"For 20-some years, we had to have dehumidifiers sitting right out here. Some rooms had as many as three dehumidifiers to remove the moisture back outside,” said Eberhardt.

A new HVAC system will replace those dehumidifiers. The system will save the schools about $18,000 in maintenance and repairs.

“We know that high humidity created a damp environment, which is never healthy. The new HVAC system is going to remove that humidity from this environment. It's going to be healthier for everyone,” said Eberhardt.

Energy-efficient and money-saving windows and lights are also being installed.

“It's going to be more efficient lighting. It's going to be a brighter white. We think that's better for teaching and learning,” said Eberhardt.

Two science labs are down to dirt and exposed pipes. They may not be ready for the first day of classes. But, with the clock ticking for crews to finish, Eberhardt guarantees school will start on time.

“Everything is indicating that we are starting school on September 2,” said Eberhardt.

Construction will continue in the high school gym, auditorium, and band and chorus rooms this fall. Crews will move over to Wetsel Middle School in the spring and summer to do the same kind of mechanical upgrades.

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