With the North Coffee Elementary School construction moving along, the Coffee County Board of Education voted to begin the New Union renovation on Monday, June 10.
Board members Sandra Klonaris, Shannon Duncan and Chairman Brett Henley were not in attendance. Due to their absence, all votes needed to be unanimous in order to pass.
North Coffee, New Union and Coffee County Central High School (CHS) are all bundled into phase one of the county’s school renovation plans. The New Union project was estimated to cost around $5M and will include renovated locker areas and converting the existing library, cafeteria and kitchen into classrooms and offices.
To begin the project, the school board needs to hire an engineering and design firm.
“OLG has worked with us for several projects. They’ve been very dependable, very responsible. They work hard to help save money and get projects done on time,” said Interim Director of Schools Joe Pedigo.
“They agreed to do the North Coffee and New Union project at 8 percent, which the going rate for these types of projects is about 9 percent,” Pedigo added.
OLG is also leading the North Coffee renovations.
The board also voted on a bid for North Coffee.
“One of those bids Is very critical to the timeline of North Coffee. That is the bid for the metal part of the building. We need to get that ordered and a lot of things will hinge on that,” Pedigo said.
The steel framing of the building was bid out in two parts – materials and construction. The materials will cost the county $276,441. They will rebid for the construction.
The county put out a request for proposal (RFP) for new theatre lights in CHS.
“The high school theater has got some equipment for controlling the stage lighting that is obsolete. When I say obsolete, it’s the same age as the building,” Pedigo said.
Pedigo later added, “This year, when the fire marshal came through, we had a different fire marshal that inspected that a lot closer than the one had in the past and they were not really pleased with some of the innovative ways we have been able to get by.”
C&H Commercial Contractor was the low bid at $65,000. Pedigo explained they visited the site and spent the most time going over the wiring and existing lights to come up with a plan for the school.
The $65K price tag will be supplemented by the money saved from not hiring a deputy director after Dr. Joey Vaughn left the position in January. County Schools Business Manager Lisa Myers explained the salary that would have gone to the deputy director went into the capital outlay fund of the budget instead so it could go toward the theatre upgrades.