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The construction of the new high school has brought excitement to Montross.

It took some time, but the new high school in Westmoreland County is slowly but surely emerging from the ground as the work crew gets more and more of the cinderblocks and steel beams in place. At previous school board meetings, the foundations and footprints were the focus during several facility updates, and now, with the steel rebar and beams arriving, the walls have started going up and up and up. 

“Now that the steel is there, the walls will be going up fast,” Superintendent Dr. Michael Perry stated near the end of the September School Board meeting.

While for the most part, the news is good, there is one slight wrinkle that Dr. Perry laid out during his facility update: namely that what they had thought was a guaranteed fund from the county turned out to actually be part of a match grant instead.

“For time immemorial, you’ve all heard me say how it was our belief that the county was going to give $750,000 towards the $1.5 million needed to complete the auditorium,” Dr. Perry said. “And if we had $750,000 left in the contingency fund, and I expect we will, that would complete the job. Very recently, we found out that the county’s $750K is a match to the $750K expected in the contingency.

“It seems small, but it changes a whole lot. That means you can’t do work until the $750K in the contingency shows up. We are just hoping that we can prevail and keep the work going.”

Given that $1.67 million remains in the contingency funds of the original $1.78, that hope looks pretty well-founded, especially since a lot of the change orders that eat up a contingency fund usually happen in the earlier parts of the construction phase.

Furniture, meanwhile, will be looked over and purchased during the next few months, with the first of the interior meetings taking place this month, where Grimm & Parker will present potential selections and gather feedback. By mid-november, G&P aims to finalize the furniture package and make its selections. Once November rolls around, price quotes will be received, and a final interiors meeting will take place come December. Overall, the High School’s completion date remains around February 1, 2022.

Check out this article to see how the naming of the new high school is progressing.