County Officials Get Look At New Snow Hill High School

County Officials Get Look At New Snow Hill High School

SNOW HILL – Local officials toured the gleaming new gym, cafeteria and music rooms at Snow Hill High School this week as construction crews wrapped up the first phase of the school’s renovation and expansion.

Town leaders, school board members and the Worcester County Commissioners joined representatives from Oak Contracting to walk through the completed portion of the school Tuesday. When it’s finished, the $50 million renovation project will double the size of the school provide students with a state-of-the-art learning environment.

“We’re proud of the Phase 1 construction and anxious to show it off,” said Bill Moschler, project manager for Oak Contracting.

Moschler led his guests through the school’s high-ceilinged commons corridor and by the band and chorus rooms — already in regular use by the school’s students — and to the shining new gymnasium. The school’s boys’ and girls’ basketball teams christened the gym with wins two weeks ago on a Saturday, the first time the 1,000-seat arena was used.

“We were extremely excited about that,” said Assistant Principal Scot Tingle. “The kids played well. There was an extra bounce in their step that night.”

The gym, decked out like the rest of the school in Snow Hill High’s maroon and gray colors, features high-tech scoreboards and retractable bleachers. Adjoining it are offices for coaches, storage areas and expanded locker rooms.

Moschler said the locker rooms had an exterior entrance that led to the school’s athletic fields. Underneath the baseball field a geothermal well system — featuring hundreds of 300-foot wells — powers the school.

“It’s very efficient,” he said. “We see it going in more and more public school construction.”

Though the first phase of construction — which accounted for nearly half the school’s square footage — is done, the complete project is not slated for completion until the fall of 2016. Crews are currently working on construction of the new science wing, media center and administrative offices. From there, they will move on to general classrooms, restrooms and computer labs before finishing up with the renovation of the school’s auxiliary gym.

“There’s a very logical progression through the remainder of the building,” Moschler said. “At the end of Phase 2, all of the work on the Church Street side will be done. It will look complete at that point.”

Snow Hill Mayor Charlie Dorman, one of the local officials on the tour, said the entire community was excited about the project. Citizens, he said, had waited anxiously as Stephen Decatur and Pocomoke high schools were renovated, wondering when their aging school would be addressed.

“The whole community has been excited,” he said. “For the kids, it’s tremendous.”

Jerry Wilson, superintendent of schools, said the project had only been possible because of support from the community and local government.

“The renovated school will serve our students by supporting a world-class education,” he said. “In addition, the school will certainly be a point of pride for the entire Snow Hill community as well as for Worcester County.”