Ormond Beach Middle School
On October 24, 2012, Ormond Beach Middle School students and staff were joined by community dignitaries, Volusia County Schools’ representatives, and members of the design and construction teams to celebrate the successful completion of the new Ormond Beach Middle School.
The theme for the dedication ceremony was “Past, Present and Future”. The school’s past was memorialized by former students who attended the school back in the 1970s including the school’s Principal Intern Mary Ellen Speidel, who led the event. The features of the newly rebuilt campus were highlighted as a nod to the present, and the school’s future was represented as Principal Matt Krajewski ended the ceremony by placing a time capsule with pictures, newspaper stories and other school memorabilia near the flagpole. The capsule will be opened on the school’s 75th anniversary in 2036.
Originally built in 1961, Ormond Beach Middle school had numerous additions and modifications made through the years. In 2000 the school was selected to undergo a phased “masterplan” replacement. H. J. High was selected as the project’s construction manager in 2006, marking the third whole-campus replacement we have completed for Volusia County Schools.
The project’s primary scope included completely transforming an existing 28 building outdated campus with many infrastructure issues into a six building modern-day learning environment, all while the campus remained occupied with staff and just under 1,000 students. In conjunction with the district and project architect, Starmer Ranaldi Architecture, H. J. High developed a construction staging plan that would not only effectively manage the safety of the students and staff onsite while keeping all mission critical systems operational, but would also decrease the overall project schedule.
Work began in November 2007 with demolition of the first buildings to make way for the project’s staging and facilities. The first phase of work included the renovation of and addition to the gymnasium building, new construction of a two story classroom/lab building, and the two story administration/media center. Ormond Beach Middle School has a very robust basketball program, but their gymnasium had grown outdated and somewhat in a state of disrepair. The window to completely gut the existing building and add approximately 1,200 sf of new space was limited as the building had to be ready for the upcoming basketball season. Work included adding a new lobby with an elevator to access the mezzanine level of bleachers, removing the existing play court slab and installing a new recessed slab with wood athletic flooring. During construction it was discovered the existing roof deck in a portion of the building had deteriorated and had to be replaced. Nevertheless, work was completed in time for the new season and the newly renovated building was a big hit. In addition to the new lobby, the building is now outfitted with a new concession stand, exercise room, classrooms, and locker room facilities.
The new classroom/lab building was strategically placed in an existing parking lot with close proximity to existing classroom buildings. Some of the campus’s existing utility services had to be relocated to make way for new foundations. Once the site had been isolated from the adjacent campus, construction began and was completed in time for the 2009/2010 school year. The two story building includes classroom, administrative offices, and several wet labs with fume hoods and prep rooms. Construction of the new administration/media center building commenced just after the classroom building and was completed near the end of 2009.
Work on the second phase of the project commenced in early 2010 with additional demolition of existing buildings and construction of the new cafetorium and music education suites, along with the central cooling plant for the entire campus. The 33,992 sf cafetorium includes a full kitchen, receiving facilities, stage, faculty dining lounge, and outdoor seating area. It is connected by a covered breezeway to the adjacent music wing, which includes choral and band facilities outfitted with acoustical finishes and fully enclosed prefabricated practice rooms. As the new central energy plant was completed, the buildings completed in the first phase of work were connected to the new underground chilled water loop. The new cafetorium and plant were completed during the summer of 2011 and were ready for students when they returned for school that fall.
The final phase of work began during the summer of 2011 with the demolition of all but one of the remaining buildings. The phase included construction of a new classroom/lab building which was a mirror image of the classroom/lab building constructed in the first phase of the project, a new career education building, student plaza, tennis and basketball courts, new bus loop and parking facilities. The single story career education building was completed in the spring of 2012, followed by the new classroom/lab building in the summer. Both buildings were ready for students when they returned to school in August. The new central plaza was constructed over the summer as well. The last of the work, demolition of the final building and construction of the new play courts, began as students returned to school and was completed in the fall.
Through it all, H. J. High’s project team guided the process to insure the quality of the work, the safety of the staff, students and workers. This skilled team included Paul Fulks – Project Manager, Dave Long – Project Superintendent, Kathi Taylor – Project Assistant, and Jim Baker – Assistant Superintendent.
The new campus bears no resemblance to its former self. It is a facility which will serve the community well and although any project of this nature has challenges that must be overcome, the project was a success by any of the standard industry metrics. Perhaps the most important metric, however, is how the building users rate the finished product. Judging by the smiles on the faces of 1,000 middle school students on October 24, it is clear the project was a great success. H. J. High is thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of such a meaningful endeavor, and thankful for the relationships we built during our time at Ormond Beach Middle School.