Construction at Cave Spring High School underway

Renovations are on track for summer 2020 completion

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Renovations at Cave Spring High School have reached a milestone. The demolition is done, and now, steel, slabs of concrete and writing on the walls are all that's left.

Wednesday, school officials showed off the renovation progress since breaking ground on the $43 million project in winter. Roanoke County School Board member Mike Wray is a Cave Spring grad.

"Is this exciting or what?" Wray said.

The building hadn't changed much since he walked the halls. That's why he said it was about time for an upgrade.

"I mean, we were cramped back then," Wray said. "It's just amazing what's going on and it certainly was due."

Crews are renovating nearly every square foot of the building, from classrooms to the cafeteria to the locker rooms. Priorities in the new design include letting in more sunlight and improving the flow of foot traffic by creating one long main hallway, instead of the old hexagon shape.

"It was disorienting. It was very hard to figure out where you were, so cleaning that up," said Nathan Harper, the director of design for the architectural firm working on the project, Spectrum Design.

New additions at the high school include a wood shop, coffee shop and outdoor space.

There will be "opportunities for students to gather, instead of just hallways and doors into classrooms," Harper said.

The gym and auditorium will only see minor upgrades. As with any major renovation, it comes with obstacles.

"The phasing and the orchestration of where the construction area is, the lay-down area, where the mobile classrooms are set up," Harper said. "All of that is always a challenge."

Although most of the building will feel new, the renovation will reflect the school's history for generations of alumni to come, even for seniors who won't get to graduate in the new building. 

"You're graduating from Cave Spring High School," Wray said. "You'll always be a Knight."

Renovations are still on track to be completed by summer 2020.

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