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Community tours William Byrd High School ahead of renovations

Updated: May. 16, 2021 at 7:38 PM EDT
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VINTON, Va. (WDBJ) - In Vinton, William Byrd High School held an open house Sunday for the school community to see its displays and renderings of renovations scheduled to start this summer.

WDBJ7 spoke with those involved with the upcoming construction to hear more about their plans and see what the school will look like.

“We’re excited, the community is excited, we’re just thankful that it’s going to happen,” Tim Greenway, a Roanoke County School Board Vinton member, said.

This summer, parts of the school will be demolished and spaces will be updated and added.

“The auditorium needs to be upgraded, all of the classrooms need to be upgraded. . . We’re also getting a new choir room, we’re getting a new wrestling/cheerleading room, and so there are a lot of new exciting additions. We’ll be on par with the rest of our counterparts in the county now,” Greenway said.

Students, parents, teachers, alumni and the public were invited Sunday to tour the school before the renovation project begins.

“It’s one last opportunity to walk down memory lane. This is the school I graduated from in ’82, and it looks, on these two halls and upstairs, it looks identical,” Greenway said.

“What they also get to do seeing these new drawings, renderings, things like that, they get to see what’s going to be there for their kids in the future,” Chris Lowe, Director of Facilities and Operations for Roanoke County Schools, said. He is the project manager for the William Byrd renovations.

Lowe said the timeline has been extended from 18 months to 24 months due to some challenges the pandemic created.

“The major challenges we’re having right now is basically timing of getting materials and the 200-300% of inflation for construction costs over the past eight months,” Lowe explained.

“Our students deserve it, and we want them to proud of the community they live in, we want them to be proud of the school they came from, and we want them to come back and live and work in the Vinton area,” Greenway said.

Some students will learn in mobile classrooms, but they will have access to parts of the building during the renovation project.

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