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BOE approves middle school construction bid

COVINGTON - The Newton County Board of Education approved a construction contract for a new middle school at its meeting Tuesday.

The members awarded the bid to Carroll Daniel Construction Company, a group out of Gainesville that is already building the county's new elementary school on Salem Road.

The new middle school will be Newton County's fifth middle school and will be located beside the new Salem Road elementary school.

Carroll Daniel Construction Company was the low bidder out of four bids with a base bid of $13,927,598.

"This is good news to us because we expected a project bid of about $14 million and that is right in the ball park," said Ray Moore, vice president of Cunningham Forehand Matthews & Moore Architects Inc., the Newton County School System's architect that oversees the bidding process. "We're pleased with Daniel Construction since they're already on site."

The project is primarily funded from SPLOST II and is the last scheduled project from the SPLOST II building program, Deborah Robertson, associate superintendent for administration, said at the BOE's October work session.

In August, the BOE approved a capital outlay application with a request of $8,758,565 in state funds for the construction of the new school.

Robertson said the construction company will start on the new middle school as soon as possible and that it's scheduled to open for the 2009-10 school year.

"This building is a little bit larger (than the next door elementary school), but it's got a bigger build out, so we should be good on time," Moore said.

The school will have 50 regular classrooms and initially hold 1,000 students.

"The core facilities that include the cafeteria and media center is designed to accommodate 1,500 students, and the building is designed so that a classroom addition could be constructed at a later date as needed," according to the BOE memo regarding the vote. "The projected construction size of this school is nine regular classrooms larger than our other middle schools with additions."

In other Newton County BOE news, the board approved an application for the use of Sharp Learning Center for the annual Community Thanksgiving Meal, an event sponsored by the Newton County Ministers Union that is scheduled to be held Nov. 21 and 22.

"The board has been granting the use of Sharp Cafeteria and waiving fees for the annual Community Thanksgiving Meal as requested by the Ministers Union for the past 10 years," according to the BOE memo.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.