COVINGTON -- The replacement Newton High School project will cost approximately a half million dollars more than originally expected due to an oversight.
Dr. Dennis Carpenter, deputy superintendent of operations for the Newton County School System, reported to the Newton County Board of Education last week that his department failed to include the cost of athletic field lighting in the project bid.
"It was our oversight," he told the board during its monthly meeting last week.
Based on the mistake, Superintendent Gary Mathews, who was not present at the meeting due to health reasons, recommended that the board approve a change order for the installation of lighting for the practice field and football field at the new school site. The board unanimously approved the project; board Vice Chair Jeff Meadors was absent from the meeting due to a family issue.
The total cost of the installation of lighting is $539,143 and will be paid for using capital project funds, which must be used for construction projects. McKnight Construction Company Inc., which is the general contractor for the replacement project, submitted a cost proposal for the lighting project and will complete the work.
Carpenter said that the additional cost will not put the project over budget.
"All of our school district's capital projects include a line item in the project budget for contingencies," he said in an email after the meeting. "The greater the scope of the project, the larger the contingency line item amount."
He said the NHS replacement project is budgeted to cost $54,100,000 with $1 million, or 1.88 percent of the project, budgeted for contingencies.
"This lighting change order that had to be approved by the board given board policy is neither uncommon or impactful from a budgetary standpoint when put into the proper context," he said in the email.
The new school is scheduled to open in time for the start of the 2013-14 school year. The site is located on nearly 118 acres of land on Crowell Road North that also fronts Jack Neely Road.
Carpenter also reported at the meeting that all building and retaining walls have been completed at the new school. Additionally, slabs are being formed and completed this month, and plumbing and electrical underground work is near completion.
Metal roofing also is being installed at this time.
On the sports fields, final irrigation is being installed, and the field turf is scheduled to be placed in the next month.
Carpenter said the project is on schedule and that project meetings are being held each month.