Tri-Conn was found to be the “lowest and best bid,” the board announced Tuesday.
“We had a great turnout on Walker Valley. We had six contractors bidding on that and they were all good contractors. We’ve worked with many of them in the past,” said Angie Lyon of Kaatz, Binkley, Jones and Morris Architect.
Board member Nicholas Lillios said it is good to see a local company selected from among a good group of competitors.
In addition to the classrooms, work will also include an expansion of the cafeteria and creating a secured entrance to the school.
According to BCS finance director Rick Smith the entire project will cost $1.7 million. This number includes “soft costs,” such as contingency funds and design fees, associated with the projects as well as the actual construction. Of this amount $1.2 million will be covered by a Federal Emergency Management Agency hazard mitigation grant administered by the state, and a required local match. The Walker Valley addition will be able to withstand wind forces equivalent to that of an F-4 tornado, and will serve as a safe place for students in severe weather, according to Director of Schools Johnny McDaniel.
“When will it start?” board member Troy Weathers asked.
“The next thing will be to execute contracts … then we will determine a timeline,” Lyon said.
The school board’s budget proposal to the Commission includes $200,000 toward the project.
Maintenance projects to replace roofing at Michigan Avenue and Hopewell elementary schools are nearing completion. Lyon said heating and air-conditioning system replacement will be done at Michigan Avenue and Taylor elementary schools and Ocoee Middle School when school is out for the summer.
Lilios asked if rain had been a factor in the roofing projects. Lyon said there were some work days lost to rain. She added however, that the rain also helped find problem areas and ensure they were totally fixed.
Tarps were put on the roofs to keep rain from coming in.
Also during the meeting, the board heard information about costs of doing geotechnical tests at Lake Forest Middle School. The tests would need to be done before any of the construction in the proposed renovation could take place. McDaniel said the Bradley County Commission Lake Forest ad hoc committee had suggested the school system go ahead with the site testing.
McDaniel said the tests will determine if the proposed spot for the academic building is actually a good building site.
“And also to see if it would be possible to do some geothermal … it’s a wonderful way to go. It’s a little more expensive in the front side but when we did Park View (elementary school) we were able to get some state grant money to install it,” McDaniel said. “You can’t do geothermal at every site, so that would be good for us to know.”
The director of schools said Park View was the system’s most energy-efficient school.
The cost for testing would be $5,300, Lyon said.
Board member Christy Critchfield said she would like to have this issue on the agenda for the next meeting.