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BoE hires architect for BI gym rehab
BOE Wilhelmina Bailey
Board of Education and audience members clap for Wilhelmina Bailey (in blue), enrollment specialist at Bradwell Institute, for being awarded the districts Extra Mile Award for her assistance in centralized registration during the summer. - photo by Photo by Tiffany King

The Liberty County Board of Education hired an architect for a renovation of Bradwell Institutes’ gym to address roof leaks, HVAC problems and the locker rooms.

Jason Rogers, school executive director of operations, said the first step to considering possible renovations is to engage Altman + Barrett Architects for budget estimates and design services.

The firm provided an estimate of $165,000, which would be funded through the Educational Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax.

Altman + Barett has worked on different construction for the district, Rogers said, including the Liberty College and Career Academy.

"As you know Bradwell has undergone extensive renovations over the years. The gym and the old CTAE (Career, Technology, Agricultural Education) wing really hasn’t been touched," Rogers said. "We’re at the point now where the roof cannot be patched anymore and we’re experiencing some HVAC issues as well."

The design will be compatible with what is currently at Bradwell and Rogers anticipates the project will start next summer.

In the meantime there are temporary fixes in place and the leaks will be monitored to make sure the gym floor isn’t ruined.

Board member Dr. Yvette Keel has dealt with leaks in Bradwell when she was the choir director there.

"I have been a part of that area and had the roof leak on me back in the ’80s," Keel said. "Please tell me we’re going to truly fix this and not just patching it up. I had cans all over my room capturing water. It was crazy."

Rogers said there will probably be a brand new roof in that area.

Board member Carol Guyett reminded the board of previous discussions about constructing an expanded gym at Bradwell that would be for multiple purposes such as basketball, competitions and large group meetings.

"I thought at one time we were supposed to be putting aside money to help pay for this," Guyett said. "And I know we’ve had other issues come up and we’ve had to pay for that. I’m asking what the scope of this (gym renovation) project is and will that eliminate that discussion we had prior many years ago."

Rogers believes the proposed renovations "will serve to enhance" constructing a performance gym later, and mentioned that the Bradwell masterplan includes a performance gym.

"What we would want to do is make sure that any work done now won’t have to be redone if you put in the performance gym," Rogers said.

BOE Chairwoman Lily Baker agreed with Guyett that money was supposed to be set aside for the project. She asked Rogers to look into it and find out if it’s feasible to add the performance gym in the near future.

The board also approved submitting LCSS’ Career, Technical and Agricultural Education plan to the Georgia Department of Education to receive federal grants. CTAE prepares students for after high school, whether it is college, a career, apprenticeship or the military. CTAE offers pathway courses.

There will soon be seven new school buses on the road. The board bought seven 72-passenger buses from Rush International, at $85,805 each.

Rogers said the state will help pay for one of the buses, leaving the district to pay approximately $523,315.

The board approved adding an online learning-only component to the Discovery Program at Horizons Learning Center. The program will allow students who have been expelled, homeschooled, or have medical or special needs that prohibit them attending school to re-enter classes.

As of Aug 8 student enrollment is 9,705. Crane expects for more students to enroll.


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