Schools to get
improvements over summer

COVINGTON - At least two Newton County high schools and two elementary schools will receive renovations this summer.

The Newton County Board of Education unanimously approved at its May board meeting more than $1.4 million in school improvements, most of which will be completed this summer at Alcovy and Newton high schools, East Newton and Heard-Mixon elementary schools and Sharp Stadium.

The board approved $551,500 for improvements to Alcovy High School.

According to the recommendation from Newton County School System Superintendent Steven Whatley, the low-bidder Sports Turf Inc., of Whitesburg, will complete track improvements at the school for not more than $102,500.

Work includes installing a 1/2 -inch latex rubberized resilient surface to the track and installing an 8-foot-wide concrete sidewalk along the west side of the track to help contain water runoff that caused minor flooding around some areas of the track after it was initially built.

"Due to funding, the final rubberized surface was not installed on the track at Alcovy High School when the track was constructed," Whatley said in his recommendation to the board.

In a separate bid, the board approved low-bidder Kevin Price General Contractors for $449,000 of site work.

The job includes the realignment of the service drive and the relocation of fire and domestic water lines to prepare the site for the construction of the 50-classroom addition at Alcovy High, which could be approved by the board in July and completed by the 2010-11 school year.

Both of the approved Alcovy projects are scheduled to be completed by July 15.

The board also approved the low bid of $657,000 for renovations at Newton High School, which will be completed in two phases.

The first phase will have Kevin Price General Contractors start and finish work this summer. It includes painting and updating the administration area, the commons area and the gym, installing new railings in the gym to meet code, replacing ceilings, lighting, carpet and paint in the choral and band rooms and replacing floor coverings in the ninth-grade and science wings and media center.

The school system will bid out phase two at a later date for completion in 2009. The work includes improving the kitchen and more painting, rewiring and replacing ceilings and obsolete lighting as needed.

In another construction bid, the board approved the low bid of $224,000 from Kevin Price General Contractors for improvements to Sharp Stadium and the installation of canopies at East Newton and Heard-Mixon elementary schools, which are the only schools without canopies where car riders are picked up.

At Sharp Stadium, workers will install new intermediate stop risers and new aisle handrails. Whatley's recommendations adds that the Capital Projects schedule has more improvements, including a new field house and visitor bleachers, at the stadium coming in 2009.

In other construction news, the school system reported that construction of the new South Salem and Liberty Middle schools still are on schedule by Carroll Daniel Construction. Inspections are being completed, and NCSS has ordered furniture and instructional start-up material for the elementary school, and playground equipment bids are being advertised. The school is scheduled to open sometime this summer.

Construction crews have poured the lower floor slab and the upper floor slab at the middle school, which is scheduled to open in time for the 2009-10 school year.

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