WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – New Hanover High School’s Brogden Hall will likely be closed for a year due to “significant structural deficiencies” that will require approximately $2 million to repair.
Leann Lawrence, the director of facility planning and construction for the school district, told the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners during a Tuesday morning meeting that the gym’s flooring was built upon a raised concrete slab and that soils underneath the slab’s support piers are “settling.”
“We’re going to have to go in and provide augmented structural support for the foundation for that space,” Lawrence said. She added that engineers also determined that the concrete slab is “structurally inefficient” for the loads that are applied to it and will need to be either reinforced or replaced.
The school board previously approved $200,000 to replace Brogden Hall’s flooring last August, and the issues with the concrete slab were discovered during that initial project.
“We’re very fortunate through the process of evaluation, that my team and my project managers were able to identify this,” Lawrence said. “It’s not an easy thing to see. There’s a great deal of effort invested and time invested to really study foundational root issues — rather than go in and replace the floor as has been done in the past, to search out what is causing the problem. And it literally took us down to the soils in this case.”
Lawrence said it will be a significant construction process which will result in Brogden Hall being closed for most of the upcoming 2021-22 school year.
Commissioners on Tuesday voted to approve the school district’s capital transfer request of $820,000 with $500,000 of that being used on the design process for the Brogden Hall repairs and to upgrade the HVAC system at the Princess Place Gym which will be used while Brogden Hall is unavailable.
A finalized cost estimate for the project should be finished in the next two months, with an expected price tag of approximately $2 million, according to school district documents.
“It’s going to be a mess, it’s going to take at least a year,” commissioner Bill Rivenbark said.
Also part of the transfer request was $100,000 for Myrtle Grove Middle School to fix a moisture issue and $220,000 for Wrightsville Beach Elementary to add dehumidification capabilities to the school’s existing HVAC system.
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