Aylor Replacement Project Update - January 17, 2018

The Frederick County School Board and Frederick County Board of Supervisors held a joint meeting on January 16, 2018, to discuss the school division’s 2019-2023 Capital Improvements Plan, specifically the Robert E Aylor Middle School replacement.  

During the meeting, Schools Superintendent David Sovine noted that Aylor Middle School opened in 1969 and has not undergone any major renovations since that time.  He stated maintaining the building has become increasingly challenging and costly and that maintenance costs at the school have exceeded $1.2 million since 2011without any major building alterations taking place.  Dr. Sovine also stated that the findings of a recent facility condition report noted that while Aylor is well-maintained, 85 percent of HVAC systems, 82 percent of plumbing components, 73 percent of electrical components, 52 percent of finishes and 50 percent of site elements have reached their average useful life.  In addition, 85 percent of the interior walls at the school are load bearing which means removing and/or relocating them to facilitate instruction will be expensive.  

Dr. Sovine stated the Aylor Middle School renovation and addition first appeared on the School Board’s 2004-2009 CIP and has remained on the plan since that time.  He noted that the School Board has reviewed a great deal of information regarding Aylor over the past year and determined it to be more cost effective and prudent to replace Aylor instead of renovating the school and constructing an addition to the building. 
Assistant Superintendent for Administration Al Orndorff reviewed information presented to the School Board over the past year that led to the Board deciding to replace Aylor Middle School instead of renovating the current facility.  Dr. Orndorff reported the preliminary cost estimate for the new school is $52 million.  Although the location and design of the school has yet to be determined, the facility is planned to total 160,000 square feet and accommodate 900 students.  Aylor currently totals 113,348 square feet and has a program capacity of 720 students.  The additional space being planned for the new school will help us accommodate future enrollment growth. Dr. Sovine noted the design of the replacement Robert E. Aylor Middle School will be based upon the prototype design from Frederick County Middle School, with some adjustments. 

School Board Chairman John Lamanna told the members of the Board of Supervisors that the School Board plans to ask them to fully appropriate the funds needed for the Robert E. Aylor Middle School replacement in the next few months.  Dr. Lamanna added that if the Supervisors approve the appropriation, the school division will be positioned to begin design work and keep the project on schedule so that it can open in August of 2021.