2008-11-20 / Front Page

BOE awards contract for new school to R.W. Allen & Assoc.

The Lincoln County Board of Education awarded a $21,484,000 contract to R.W. Allen & Associates of Augusta to construct a new high school. Site preparation is well underway on Metasville Road. The Lincoln County Board of Education awarded a $21,484,000 contract to R.W. Allen & Associates of Augusta to construct a new high school. Site preparation is well underway on Metasville Road. The Lincoln County Board of Education awarded a $21,484,000 contract to R.W. Allen & Associates of Augusta to construct a new high school off of Metasville Road.

The figure represents a cost of $125 per square foot.

The action was taken at a continuation of the board's November 4 meeting held Monday, November 17.

In his remarks, Scott Clark, president of R.W. Allen & Associates, said, "With our experience, we'll do an exceptional job. In fact, one of our field superintendents lives here.

"We've been in business for 32 years and have completed around 25 schools. At the present time, we have five or six schools under construction, including Grovetown High School.

"You hit the market well from a cost standpoint," he added.

The new building will cover 164,865 square feet, which does not include a 2,100-square-foot green house and outbuildings, measuring a total of 6,737 square feet.

The school will feature three major wings, with a major hallway running left to right. Plans also call for one central entrance, two minor entrances into the gymnasium and auditorium, and one entrance at the back.

In 2006, the total cost of the building was estimated at $22,825,180. The project will be funded by capital outlay monies from the state and bond revenues, supported by SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) and property taxes.

During Monday's meeting, the motion was made to accept the contract, with the option of omitting the greenhouse ($86,000) as late as March of 2010.

The system plans to apply for state monies to cover the cost of the greenhouse but will not know if the application is approved until the General Assembly meets in 2010.

If the weather cooperates, the new school should reach completion in 18 to 20 months.

One of the main concerns raised by the board dealt with building a school that will serve 800 students, when there are only 450 students currently enrolled at the high school.

According to Dr. Randall Edmunds, superintendent of schools, "When we started this, we said we wanted to build a school that would be big enough to accommodate students for the next 20 to 25 years. Also, we'll get more state money if we build the school for more students."

It was estimated that state funding could be cut in half if the size of the new school was significantly reduced. Moreover, if classrooms were deleted from the plans, it would cost more to add them later.

"When all of this started, we were in a period of growth," said Board Member Wayne Williford. "Hopefully, the economic climate we are now experiencing will change."

"The prediction is that Lincoln County will grow in the next 10 to 15 years," said Superintendent Edmunds.

In further discussion, Board Member Becky Reed said, "Why are we going to build something twice the size we need if we keep the middle school?"

"For the future," answered Edmunds. "We want to have it big enough so we don't have to add something in the next 10 or 15 years. This will even up the number of students at all three school, and if we move grades four and five to LCMS, each school will match up with the certification of teachers."

He went on to say that plans are to get rid of all of the portables and service the buses at the transportation lab, which will save the system the cost of renting a building for this purpose.

In his comments, Dr. Robert Williams, chairman of the board, said, "In the future, we may run the risk of over-crowding. We have it now. We're trying to avoid it with the new school."

In other business, the board talked about the personnel needed to operate three schools.

The next regular meeting of the board will be held Tuesday, December 2, at 7 p.m. at the board office on Metasville Road.

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