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County awards contract to build gym
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Liberty County commissioners have awarded the contract to build the Sam Harris Gymnasium.

Commissioners awarded the bid to Pope Construction, which submitted a bid of $2.46 million, to build the gym at the Liberty County Community Complex.

There were four bids submitted, and all the range of bids was close, County Administrator Joey Brown said.

With furnishing, furniture, remaining architect’s fees and testing, the total cost for the project is expected to be approximately $2.76 million.

“I think you’ll be very proud of it,” Brown said to commissioners.

Harris, a longtime teacher and administrator in Liberty County Schools, died in 2020. Among his accomplishments was serving as head coach of the Liberty County High School state championship boys basketball team in 1965 during segregation.

The Liberty County Community Complex sits on the site of the former Liberty County High School.

Funding for the project is coming from special purpose local option sales tax proceeds. More than $1.16 million is ticketed from the SPLOST 6 for current and future recreation, and another $1.4 million is coming from other SPLOST 6 accounts, including drainage. Another $370,000 is scheduled to come from

SPLOST 2. “We’ve been working on trying to identify funding for it,” Brown told commissioners. Brown said county staff worked with architects Buckley and Associates for cost-cutting measures, including shaving $110,000 through reducing the amount of paving for the recycling center.

Money for the walking trail at the complex has been designated through American Rescue Plan Act proceeds. A future phase will complete the work on the back fields for sport play fields. Commissioners also approved bids for new HVAC units at the justice center and the records retention center. H.A. Sack won the bid for the records retention center replacement HVAC unit at $240,900, and Johnson Controls won the bid for the justice center replacement HVAC unit at $309,550. The records retention center unit will be paid for through SPLOST 6 funds, and the justice center unit will be paid for through American Rescue Plan Act proceeds. The unit for the Justice Center is a specialty unit, Assistant County Administrator Joseph

Mosley. “It will have to be put on order,” he said. “All of them say it’s going to be a lengthy process in getting a unit.”

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