Shelby County BOE approves $750k bid to modify school entrances

By KATIE MCDOWELL/General Manager

COLUMBIANA – The Shelby County Board of Education approved an approximately $750,000 bid to modify entrances at county schools during its May 6 meeting.

Randy Reeves, Shelby County Schools facility coordinator, said the modifications are designed to improve safety at the schools by restricting access to the buildings.

“Each site is unique,” Reeves said. “There will be something different going on at each site.”

While the plans for each school are unique, Reeves said they will all restrict access at the front of the building. Front doors will have magnetic locks, and visitors must approved before entering.

“It will also upgrade some security cameras and monitoring potential throughout the building,” Reeves said.

Lathan Associates Architects, which works with the school system, first revealed plans for the safety upgrades in June 2013. The bid, which was $751,990, was given to Williford Orman Construction in Pelham. Reeves also said the work at all buildings will not begin until school ends this spring.

“It will begin in mid-June and we expect it to run through the fall,” he said.

The project does not include schools in Pelham, which has formed its own school system and is on pace to officially break away from Shelby County Schools this summer.

It also does not include security upgrades at Montevallo Middle School, which will be handled through a separate contract. Reeves said work was already planned for MMS, including a gymnasium expansion, renovation to the front of the building, new parking lot and other projects.

Reeves said the school system decided to handle all renovations at the school.

“We didn’t want two contractors on site at one time,” he said.

Reeves said the MMS project should be put out for bid in the next month.