When we last talked about the future of the Administration building at 8701 Holmes back in September, we were busily preparing to move the rest of the staff to a new office at the Center Academy for Success building at 8434 Paseo Boulevard. That has been completed and it’s time to get serious about next steps for 8701 Holmes.
A number of ideas have been shared by the community. They generally fall into three categories.
The first category is to make the necessary repairs to the building to allow it to be reused in generally the same form as its current configuration. The most common ideas are:
Relocate the Center Museum from the basement of the high school
Provide space for community resource providers such as libraries, health care, safety net services, or others.
Use as classroom space for the High School to be able to add new programs
Convert it to transitional housing for unaccompanied minor students
All of these uses will require significant repairs to the building (roof, new windows, flood damage remediation and prevention, ADA compliance). While we have not gotten estimates, the “guesstimate” of the repairs ranges from $200,000 - $400,000. In addition, the use of most of the basement level would be limited to storage only.
A second idea that has emerged is for reuse, but a very specific type of reuse that will be less expensive. That idea is to convert the space into a learning lab for a new Construction Trades program. Essentially, most of the interior of the building would be stripped down to studs with the open spaces used for learning projects for framing, drywall, painting, electrical, plumbing and other in-demand skills in construction. While the flood prevention, damage remediation, and ADA compliance work would still be needed in some form, they would be less expensive when the interior spaces don’t need to be redone. In addition, there is enough industry demand for construction trades education, that industry partners are already stepping forward to potentially assist with expenses. While this is similar to a program offered to Center students at Herndon Career Center, being located on Center’s campus is likely to be attractive to more students, provide a better student experience because of relationships with Center teachers and be more cost effective for the district to operate. The “guesstimated” cost for remodeling is between $50,000 - $100,000, with some portion of that likely to be donated.
The final option, if others are not considered to be feasible, is demolition. This is the lowest cost option (probably $50,000 or less) and would leave the land available for other uses in the future.
The next steps include getting expert analysis of the work required for each of the options above to give the administration and Board of Education more precise information on costs and requirements. We would also like to hear your opinions on the options. Click here to complete a short survey on your thoughts.