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Construction continues for the BoE

Board seeking architect to build a middle school on Fort Stewart

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POSTED: January 16, 2009 2:21 p.m.
The Liberty County Board of Education has started looking for an architect to build a middle school on Fort Stewart and, in doing so, has broken with a long standing practice.
The action was taken Tuesday, at the board’s first meeting of 2009, when the focus was on updating the status of ongoing and future construction projects.
The board agreed upon two requests for qualifications for the search for architects to design and build upcoming buildings and facilities. For the past four years, the board has exclusively used James M. Buckley and Associates Inc., but on Tuesday, it passed a motion to open bids to plan two projects.
The first request is for an architect for the new middle school on Fort Stewart and the other is for a range of ancillary and alternative education buildings, including a Midway Middle School gym, Coastal Academy and transportations facilities.
“The architect [for these two projects] could end up being the same or they could be different,” Deputy Superintendent Cheryl Conley said.
Also pertaining to the new school, Superintendent Dr. Judy Scherer gave a projected and ideal schedule for construction.
“Classes will start in the fall of 2010. Hopefully we’ll start construction by spring, around May, and then we’ll have a year to complete it, and a middle school can be built in a year,” Scherer said.
Conley said the schedule is tentative but if everything’s approved, an architect could be approved at the March 24 board meeting.
Another major construction project the board decided upon was the final phase of remodeling Bradwell Institute.
According to board members, the next steps are to complete a home economics wing, a fine arts wing and to renovate the gym. The two wings can be constructed during the school year because they are new facilities, but the gym renovations will not be done until the summer when no students are present.
The Bradwell construction does not fall under the ancillary buildings request and will be completed by Buckley and Associates, the architects who started the work.
In other business, the board unanimously appointed Marcia Anderson as vice chairman of the board for the upcoming year. She takes over from Carol Guyette, who was recently elected to serve another term as the District 3 representative.
“You’ve been a good vice chair,” Chairman Lily Baker said to Guyette.
During the meeting, Baker also formally welcomed District 1 representative Verdell Jones, the only new member.
Jones, sworn into office on Dec. 29, is taking over from Mattie Hicks, who served on the board for 22 years and recently retired.
 

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