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BI, arts center work to progress
BoE approved bids at Tuesday meeting
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The Liberty County Board of Education during its Tuesday meeting approved a host of bids and contracts for capital improvements and projects, including the performing arts center renovation contract and the conceptual plans for the next step in Bradwell Institute renovations.

The board approved a bid and contract from R.H. Tyson Construction for renovations to the performing arts center, formerly a satellite campus of Brewton-Parker College that the board purchased with $2 million in SPLOST funds in 2009.

The contract calls for a lump sum payment of $1,892,000 for interior modifications and exterior site work to the facility. The construction schedule calls for the work to begin Jan. 15 with a target completion date of July 15.

 Once complete, the space will be used for student artistic performances, gallery displays and recognition ceremonies. It also will be available for public uses such as conferences, meetings and banquets.

The center will fill a void in the community, Liberty County School System Superintendent Dr. Judy Scherer said.

“I want it to be something that is used by the entire community,” she said. “Right now, Liberty County has no place like that to have meetings, to have a sit-down dinner for 200 people.”

 In other capital matters, the board also approved the conceptual plan for phase four, step two of the renovations at Bradwell Institute. This work will include renovations to the campus chillers, relocation and possible reconstruction of the school’s agricultural facilities, construction of 13 science labs adjacent to the recently finished labs, and renovation of an area that will become the business wing.

The estimated budget for this work is $14,500,000, and the target completion date is in advance of the school year in August 2012.

Preconstruction services for this work, which will be completed by J.E. Dunn Construction Company, formerly R.J. Griffin, will be less than $72,500. Now, the group will solicit bids and should present them within the coming months.

The board also approved a $68,892 bid for installation of HVAC equipment in the gym and cafeteria at Snelson-Golden Middle School.

Augusta Chiller Services was the lowest of six bidders, and the contract includes all labor, materials and controls to complete the system.

During discussion on another maintenance-related matter, board Vice Chairwoman Verdell Jones asked why the HVAC installation proposal was coming before the board at that time, and whether it was part of a prescribed maintenance plan for the schools.

Conley and Rodger Osborne, director of facilities and maintenance, both explained that the items previously had been purchased as a solution to issues with the old equipment.

The board rejected three bids for replacement of the school canopy at Joseph Martin Elementary School on recommendation from staff and from BRPH project architect Matt Walsh.

Conley said that all bids received were presented for canopies only and did not include demolition of the existing canopy or site preparation to receive the replacement, and therefore did not cover the full scope of the repairs.

The project will be rebid at a later date.

In other news:

• The board closed out the Olvey Fieldhouse construction work with a final payment of $84,945.88.

• With no discussion and a unanimous vote, the board approved district boundaries that align with the six districts adopted by the county commission last month.

• Directly before the meeting, the district announced its 2012-13 teacher of the year. More information on this story will be in an upcoming edition of the Courier.

• During the meeting, the board also heard concerns about Bradwell Institute’s football program and proposed changes to its graduation requirements. Look for more coverage of these issues in upcoming editions of the Courier.

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