Funding for Salem High renovation discussed by school, city leaders

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Shawn Nowlin

Photo by Mike Stevens
Ben Motley, Director of RRMM Architects Roanoke Design Studio, addressing city leaders during a Joint City Council – School Board meeting on October 8.

On October 8, Salem High and city officials had a meeting to discuss the timeline and funding for the school’s $36 million renovation. Dr. Allan Seibert was present at the gathering. The Salem School Division Superintendent noted that by the end of December, the division plans to send out a bid for contractors. The plan is to have one chosen by the end of January.

Once a contractor is chosen, they, along with school leaders, will work on ways to be fiscally responsible and reform design plans. The high school renovations are scheduled to be completed by May 2020.

Said Dr. Seibert back in May during a public tour and design reveal for renovations at Salem High, “The biggest room in any organization, school division, business or family is the room for improvement.”

Added Salem High Principal Scott Habeeb at the same event, “This facility has served the young people of Salem with excellence for the past 42 years. But the needs of students, of our community, and of education, in general, continue to evolve. The time has come to make the significant improvements that will enable us to continue providing Salem’s young people with an excellent school for generations to come.”

According to City of Salem Communications Director Mike Stevens, the final project has a scheduled date for August 2022 and all students will remain in the school during the renovation.

Although no vote took place on the renovations at the October 8 work session, it did provide an opportunity for all parties involved to voice their perspectives and come to an understanding.