By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal Oxford Bureau
OXFORD – The Oxford school board on Monday approved the demolition of the gym at Oxford Middle School.
The building’s dismantling is the first major part of a $3.4 million renovation project at the school, which will likely include a new gym, eight additional classrooms and expanded parking. The school board had earlier delayed the demolition after replacement estimates were found to have left out some key expenses.
“We think the demolition will take a week or so; it will certainly be finished before school begins,” said Brian Harvey, interim superintendent.
The OMS project is part of a $42 million capital improvements project that also includes the construction of a new $31.4 million high school, whose dirt work is under way on land off Sisk Avenue, and renovations and expansions at several other campuses.
Other high-priority projects include the renovation of the present Oxford High School on Bramlett Boulevard, which will be used for junior high grades; an addition of classrooms at Della Davidson Elementary, which is the district’s newest current campus; and extensive mechanical and structural renovations at Oxford Elementary School.
“We have about $42.5 million to do these projects. We can very easily get to the (Oxford Elementary) renovations,” Harvey said. “If the bids come in higher than we expect for these projects, we’re probably looking at delaying athletic fields at the new high school.”