Why build a new Francis Howell North instead of renovating the existing building?
Francis Howell North High
School opened in 1981 as Henderson Middle School. In the decades that followed,
six additions were made to the building with no overall master plan, resulting
in a variety of roof structures and heating and air-conditioning systems
serving all of those different areas. With all of the adjoining roof
structures, there are ongoing issues with ceiling leaks despite our best
efforts to continually patch the different roof surfaces. As a result, the building
has mold problems that have been mitigated multiple times.
Many other major systems, like HVAC, plumbing, and electrical, have reached the end of their useful life and are so old that it is now difficult to find spare parts when systems break down. Additionally, the building structure presents challenges for the appropriate supervision of students and creates potential student and staff safety issues.
In commercial construction, the cost per square foot for renovating an existing structure is actually more expensive than the cost of new construction. Repairing the existing structure would cost more than $40 million and displace students for 3-4 years - and it‘s likely that the maintenance costs would continue to increase and issues, like ceiling leaks due to adjoining roof structures, would continue to pose problems. A new high school can be built on the southwest part of the current property while students still use the old school.