By Joe Lewis - Staff Writer
Jan. 1, 2014 —
The halls of the old Olive Hill High School, which were silent for quite a long time, have been filled with the sounds of hammer and nail as renovation of the historic building is underway.
Last October, the Olive Hill Historical Society (OHHS) awarded the contract for the high school renovation. A Flatwoods based construction firm was the low bidder, estimating costs of $731, 887 to complete the renovation work at the high school.
Construction of a large concrete water vault behind the main building was recently completed, which will act as a reservoir and be tied in to the facility's sprinkler system that currently is being installed.
Steel support beams for the third floor library have also been put into place.
The crew will continue to work on site throughout the winter and into spring, as most of the renovation involves interior restoration of the building support and electrical infrastructure.
“I'm just glad we have things going on,” said Historical Society President Linda Lowe, who expressed enthusiasm that the renovation project is finally moving forward after an unusually lengthy bidding process.
On three separate occasions, the Historical Society solicited bids from outside contractors to continue renovation work at the high school.
Each time, the bids far exceeded the initial $500,000 budget for renovation, which prompted the nonprofit to seek additional funding in order to get started.
OHHS received an additional $325,000 in grant funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission earlier this year to help with the costs.
In addition to the sprinkler system, all main floor classroom will be renovated, as well as the third floor, which will house the Olive Hill Branch of the Carter County Public Library.
The project also includes installation of an elevator on the east end of the building and an HVAC system throughout all areas except the gymnasium.
According to Lowe, the work is tentatively scheduled for completion in July.
Joe Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 286-4201.