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BoE talks Bradwell construction
Contractors on track for Aug. 3 deadline
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If all goes according to plan, Bradwell Institute students will find some of their band, choral and art classes in a renovated building when school starts Aug. 4.

“It’s like extreme home makeover right now,” construction project manager Jake Nellis told the Liberty County Board of Education during its Tuesday meeting.

Contractors from R. J. Griffin & Company have been working around the clock for the past eight weeks to complete renovations, and Nellis said they are still on time for an Aug. 3 move-in date.  They also have been working on a 14,136-square-foot addition, which is slated to open in October.

He showed the board pictures of the construction in progress as he explained that the renovated area will have new air-conditioning, electrical, fire alarm and plumbing systems.

But like many “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” projects, the Bradwell improvements called for some unanticipated expenses.

At the contractor’s request, the board approved the addition of $73,831 to the band, choral and art additions and renovations budget, which originally was set at $3,609,868. The additional amount covers sewer and drainage improvements and the conversion of one classroom into a computer lab, Nellis said.

The project now will cost $3,683,699.

The board also voted to approve a project master plan by BRPH architects that would pace Bradwell construction through the fall of 2014.

In other Bradwell news, the board also voted to adopt a pilot security alarm system for the school. If successful, the board will consider equipping other schools with the system.

Bradwell Principal Scott Carrier spoke about the need for the system.

“Just last night I got an email at 8:30 that someone was in the building,” he said. “I can give you a number of examples over time that we have found someone in the building. We’ve been lucky so far, but someone’s going to get in there and steal something or vandalize.”

The board hopes to secure a grant for the system from the Hinesville Police Department, but board members voted to move ahead with the system with or without the funds.

The board also approved a $40,000 payment to BRPH for master-planning services for future system-wide elementary school upgrades and services.

Two parent-involvement coordinators, Becky Busby from Frank Long Elementary and Levonia LeCounte from Lyman Hall Elementary, spoke to the board about the “I Care” program, a new parent-involvement curriculum that schools will debut in mid-August.

The program calls for parent involvement in an age-appropriate list of at-home activities centered around one topic every month. Teachers will incorporate the topics into their lesson plans and through books, Busby said. The August focus is on citizenship, and parents should look for more information once the program begins, she said.

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