Board OKs more NHS renovations

COVINGTON - The oldest high school in Newton County will get another face-lift this summer.

During its monthly work session Tuesday, the Newton County Board of Education approved the second phase of renovations to take place at Newton High School.

The board members unanimously approved a recommendation from Superintendent Steven Whatley for the low bid of $906,000 from Samples Construction SE LLC of Kennesaw. NCSS architect Ray Moore said he wanted a recommendation at the work session, instead of waiting for Tuesday's regular session meeting, so they could begin ordering materials and planning for the work.

The SPLOST-funded project includes painting, ceiling and lighting replacements, and rekeying, repairing and replacing doors as needed.

Some of the work is being completed because of normal wear and tear and other areas are outdated - Moore said some light bulbs the school uses will not be available after 2010 and some of the doors are in need of repair.

"We went around with a construction consultant ... to look at each door" in the school, Moore said during Tuesday's meeting.

Moore said the project will cost less than they planned - the school system had anticipated it costing more than $1 million.

"The price was very good - (the bids) have been competitive," Moore said.

He said the school system has never worked with Samples Construction, but he feels good about the company.

"This is a new contractor to us, but we checked them out, and they had good references and recommendations," Moore told the school board Tuesday. "I believe they are capable of handling this."

Phase one of the three-phase project was completed over the summer of 2008 and included renovations to the administrative office area, the commons area and both the upstairs and downstairs areas of the gym at a cost totaling $728,507.

The SPLOST budget for the entire scope of the project, which includes renovations to the kitchen during the summer of 2010, is $4 million. Slightly more than $1 million comes from state funding, leaving the local system to fund the other $3 million.

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