Weather threatens delays on county school projects

By KAITLIN GEBBY
Posted 3/25/20

Projects at Bradley County Schools are facing delays, but not because of the new coronavirus, COVID-19. Dr. Linda Cash told the Cleveland Daily Banner that ongoing projects at Bradley County …

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Weather threatens delays on county school projects

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Projects at Bradley County Schools are facing delays, but not because of the new coronavirus, COVID-19. 

Dr. Linda Cash told the Cleveland Daily Banner that ongoing projects at Bradley County Schools are assessing their schedules due to rain. 

There are currently projects at Black Fox Elementary School, North Lee Elementary School, Lake Forest Middle School and the upcoming Partnerships in Industry and Education (PIE) Center. 

While projects at Lake Forest and the PIE Center are still on track, delays may upset the construction schedule for Black Fox and North Lee. 

In early February, the Bradley County Board of Education called a special meeting to accept a bid of $2.44 million from Wilson Construction Group LLC for the Black Fox and North Lee Elementary school projects, with a projected 175 calendar days to finish. 

Rather than wait a week to accept the bid, board chairman Troy Weathers said they wanted to get the project going “as soon as possible,” acknowledging they were under a tight schedule. 

The board has said they would like to see the project finished by the first day of school in August. 

The Tennessee Valley Authority recorded over eight inches of rainfall in Cleveland for February. The rain was so heavy and persistent, schools canceled due to threats of flash flooding. The closures delayed groundbreaking ceremonies for the projects taking place at Black Fox and North Lee, where they are looking to add four new classrooms and two bathrooms at each school. 

Cleveland alone received 8.46 inches of precipitation  in February compared to the February 2018, record of 11.6 inches for the Tennessee Valley, but the back-to-back consistent rainfall has left little time for the ground to dry and welcome construction. 

In addition to new classrooms and bathrooms at North Lee and Black Fox Elementary, Bradley County Schools is refacing the exterior brick on Lake Forest’s cafeteria. The system is also in the process of converting the old American Uniform factory into the PIE Center, which will be the new home of its career and technical education studies. 



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