New construction continues at Palmetto and Wren Middle; demolition begins

The sixth grade wing at Palmetto Middle School was taken down by construction crews last week. Phased work on a new middle school has been underway over the last year, as students continued learning in the old building. Due to the closing of schools because of the pandemic situation, the construction, and demolition, schedules have been moved up. The building is one of the oldest in Anderson School District One, built as Palmetto High School in 1953. The new construction can be seen in the background.
New construction continues at Palmetto and Wren Middle
Anderson School District One voters approved a $109 million bond referendum in April 2019 to help fund a proposed $132 million building program. the new building program includes construction of two new middle schools, classroom additions for schools that are at or over capacity, critical renovations at schools that need them and improve safety at all fourteen District schools.
New Palmetto Middle Construction
New construction for first phase of replacement of Palmetto Middle and Wren Middle Schools has been on going for the last year. Demolition on the schools, which are 68 and 64 years old, began last week. Construction crews recently began tearing down the old sixth grade wing at Palmetto Middle. A walk through of the building for the public was planned before demolition began, but was canceled due to the COVID-19 situation. The school shutdown due to the pandemic also allowed construction crews to begin demolition earlier than scheduled, according to Superintendent Robbie Binnicker.
New Wren Middle Construction

Other work currently underway includes additions at Powdersville Elementary School, Powdersville Middle School, and Spearman Elementary School;  Additions (Architectural Phase) – Cedar Grove Elementary School, Powdersville High School, Multipurpose Building and Press Box renovations; Wren High School Roof Replacement and Security Upgrades at all schools.

Completed Projects include new Practice Field at Wren Middle School; new Roof at West Pelzer Elementary School; Secure Vestibules at Hunt Meadows Elementary School, Powdersville Elementary, Spearman Elementary, and West Pelzer Elementary Schools.

Preliminary Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) numbers for several of the building projects were presented at the last School Board meeting. They are: Spearman Elementary, $2,058,378; Powdersville Elementary School,  $2,456,596; Powdersville Middle School, $6,564,83; Powdersville High School,  $3,317,239; Powdersville High Field House,  $3,002,390; Powdersville High Press Box,  $486,630; and Cedar Grove Elementary School,  $2,244,987.

The GMP is the maximum price the district will pay, regardless of how much it actually costs, to complete the project. If more funds are needed, the contractor is responsible for providing those funds. If the required work takes less money to complete, the District and the contractor split the “savings” with 70% going to the district and 30% to the contractor.

AD1 Building Program overview –
Two of the biggest projects, and most expensive, are the construction of new Palmetto Middle and Wren Middle Schools on the same properties while keeping the newest wings and incorporating them into the new building.
Additional classrooms will be added at five schools that are at or over student capacity.
Cedar Grove Elementary, Powdersville Elementary and Spearman Elementary will each get a new eight room addition. Powdersville Middle will get a ten room addition and the District’s newest school, Powdersville High will get a 10 room addition and a multipurpose room.
Critical renovations will be made at Palmetto and Wren High including ADA compliance renovations, upgraded restrooms, tile, paint and others.
Renovations at the Adult Education Building will include repair to windows, doors, floors and an auditorium HVAC.
Plans call for the repair or replacement of roofs at Concrete, Palmetto Elementary, Powdersville Elementary, West Pelzer Elementary, Wren Elementary, Powdersville Middle, Palmetto High and Wren High.
HVAC improvements will be made at Cedar Grove, Palmetto Elementary, West Pelzer, Wren Elementary, Wren High and Palmetto High.
A priority of the building program is safety and security, according to Superintendent Robbie Binnicker. Plans call for an update or replacement of video cameras, access control doors and security software and creating secure vestibules at Hunt Meadows Elementary, Powdersville Elementary, Spearman Elementary, West Pelzer Elementary, Powdersville Middle, Palmetto High and Wren High.
Four schools, Palmetto High, Wren High, Palmetto Middle and Wren Middle, currently have separate buildings that require students to leave the main building. Plans call for the separate buildings to be connected to the main building.