An environmental survey on a site being considered for a proposed new Brunson Elementary School is nearly complete.
Colon Moore, the director of facility planning and construction for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, told a Board of Education committee Tuesday that he expects the work to be finished this week at the former site of Thomasville Furniture Industries Inc. on Patterson Avenue.
“We’ve done some core samples and we’re currently waiting on the analysis back from the lab,” Moore said in an interview after the meeting.
The school system is considering a building at 1201 Patterson Ave., behind Samaritan Ministries. The system currently has an option on 7.8 acres and is in talks with a developer about getting several more acres for the project.
“Our policy allows us to put an option on land, which means that we can have an agreement with a seller about property, but we haven’t agreed upon a price or a purchase because our (school) board hasn’t formally voted on it,” he said.
The school system’s option on the building and property has given its Planning and Construction Department the opportunity to do its due diligence on the site for the past four months.
The department has been in discussions with neighbors in the area, including Samaritan Ministries and other businesses, and has reached out to the Brunson PTA, the Brunson staff and students, as well as a neighborhood group in the area, Moore said.
He also said department members have met with Duke Energy, which plans to build a substation diagonally from the site the school system is considering for Brunson.
Current plans are to probably demolish the existing building on the site and build a school.
So far, numbers indicate it would cost more to retrofit the building than to build a new one.
“We’re working on getting firm numbers on design and construction costs in addition to whatever site development costs we might have to have,” Moore said.
WS/FCS will hold a community drop-in session at 6 p.m. Thursday at the current Brunson Elementary at 155 Hawthorne Road.
The focus will be on the design of the new school building.
During its work session, the Buildings and Grounds Committee approved: a state grant for safety and security; phase two of an elementary-school camera project; the installation of energy, recovery, ventilation/heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems for Carver, North Forsyth, Parkland and Reynolds high schools’ competition gyms; and replacing windows at Reynolds High School with vinyl windows, which will be a cost savings of $550,000.
During a discussion of the Board of Education’s budget priorities, the Finance Committee approved pay raises for classified employees as a priority, but tabled two other priorities for a future meeting — instructional resources for classroom teachers (K-12 textbooks) and wrap-around support services for students to enable equitable access to high quality instruction.