At Ireton, renovating buildings, academics

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Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria looks a little different in a big way this year. With the structural changes to Ireton and the administrative offices being moved, many Ireton students want to know more about what changes are coming in the renovation process.

 

The demolition of the Oblate House that began in August 2017 will continue through October. This initial construction paves the way for work to begin on Ireton’s new academic wing, which has a tentative completion date of fall 2019. 

The timeline for Ireton’s renovation spans a little over two years, which means that the classes of 2020 and 2021 will be able to see the finished product during their time at Ireton. However, many underclassmen are not yet aware of exactly what this construction is for, including freshman Bridget Innis, who says that “the renovation is what many people have been talking about recently (but) I don’t really know what is going to be built.”

The construction process began in late June 2016 with the construction company Coakley Williams starting renovations on the main offices and adding two administrative offices.

Ireton obtained a permit to begin the demolition of the Oblate House by shutting off the gas lines, water lines and electricity that goes to the Oblate House to ensure a safe work environment for the demolition.

The main administrative offices will likely be ready for use in early October, which means that the administrators will be back in their regular offices and the wrestling room will be ready for use.

The demolition of the Oblate House will be the most noticeable effect of the construction, but Ireton also will install new heating and cooling lines on the roof of the classrooms in the science wing. “(Coakley Williams) will recycle 90 percent of what they take down,” said Peter Davey, director of operations at Ireton.

Ireton obtained a development special use permit (SUP) to begin construction on the new academic wing. In a Sept. 7 hearing with the Planning and Zoning Commission, it was recommended that the construction go forward and that enrollment of Ireton could go up to 950 students. The request for the SUP through the Alexandria City Council was approved Sept. 16. 

Once the permit is obtained by Ireton, architects will work on the full design and build set, which lays out the specifics for the new building that construction companies utilize when making their bids on the project.

After the design and build set has been finalized and Ireton selects a construction company, work can tentatively begin in mid-March or early April 2018. It will take 15 to 17 months to complete.

This project will modernize the Ireton’s facilities with new STEM labs, a robotics lab, a new library and a new cafeteria. The future generations at Ireton will be able to utilize these state-of-the-art facilities, which make the construction bittersweet for many upperclassmen.

Senior Anna Johnson will be gone from the school by the time it is completed, but hopes her brother, who is a freshman, will be able to enjoy the improvements.

After this phase of renovations is completed, Ireton will move to its second phase, including a new front entrance, new classrooms and a new reception area. With all of the new changes at Ireton, students have many things to look forward to in the coming years.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017