Despite his predictions that Tate Elementary School’s slated renovation would come in near projected costs, Pickens Schools Operations Manager Rick Little was stunned when he saw the figures that did come in. At nearly double the architect’s $1.8 million projected figure, the school board has been forced to delay the extensive renovation plans for the time being.Little had been assured that by utilizing a state school program that contracts workers the costs would be much better than private contractors. That turned out untrue. So the board is considering re-bidding with private contractors this fall looking to the summer of 2015 for construction.
With those concerns looming, the board did address another contract that was up in the air. The Jasper Elementary School project also came in over-budget. In negotiations, Little was able to scale down the figure by cutting back to absolute necessities.
By going with lower-cost alternatives in tile, doors, door handles and HVAC the school system will save around $92,000. By eliminating several other aspects including windows, liquidating damages and some of the profit margin for the contractor they were able to secure the contract at $205,733,000 whereas the original contract was for $199,188,000. The state will still contribute $437,405 of the cost.
The construction will begin the first day after school’s out for summer and is slated to end on August 1 barring any unforeseen delays. In that case, the board discussed the possibility of using Mountain Education Center classrooms for the following school year should that be necessary. A contingency was set-up with Mountain Ed stating should the school district need classrooms to accommodate students in public school they will be afforded that opportunity.
Principal Dr. Carlton Wilson was on-hand for the meeting outlining the plans they have for the school within that budget including furniture and technology needs. They also shaved several offices and lunchroom plans from the budget to bring the costs down closer to the original plans.
However, purchases of Chromebooks and desktop computers will go forward as a current necessity for the elementary students. Wilson reported when he moved to JES a year ago,
“the climate of technology was not there.”
For a detailed discussion of what happened concerning both TES and JES, please see the following video:
For previous stories on the Tate Elementary project please see: