SCSBOE approves new construction bids

By MACKENZEE SIMMS | Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – In addition to giving an update on V.O.I.C.E. advisory meetings, the Shelby County Schools Board of Education approved new construction bids and received a progress report on current construction projects at a regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, March 21.

According to Superintendent Lewis Brooks, Friday, March 15, marked the final day of the V.O.I.C.E. advisory meetings at seven school zones.

In a statement from Public Relations and Community Education Supervisor Cindy Warner, V.O.I.C.E. stands for Vision, Openness, Insight, Communication and Engagement.

“(Brooks’) VOICE advisory meetings aim to engage stakeholders, including teachers, parents, and students, in meaningful, open dialogue about what makes Shelby County Schools a model of excellence and areas where the district needs to make improvements,” the statement read.

In previous years, parents and community groups would visit the Shelby County Board of Education offices. This year, the BOE traveled to the schools to speak with the community.

“My assessment of that is that the dialogue was really productive and insightful, so we gleaned some really good information from our parents,” Brooks said. “So, we will take that information at some point as a district leadership team, process it and look at how we move forward in the various communities.”

The first project bid that the county approved was an entrance upgrade for Wilsonville Elementary School. Duncan and Thompson Constructions, the considered contractor for the project, previously completed work at Calera Intermediate School.

According to Shelby County School’s Assistant Superintendent of Operations David Calhoun, the quote for the Wilsonville entrance upgrade was $790,523.

“Our goal is to create and build a more pronounced entrance that will be handicap accessible,” Calhoun said.

The BOE approved a second project for interior renovations at Shelby County High School. Not only will this project approve the aesthetics of the gym lobby with a new trophy case, it will also address the handicap accessible restroom. The lowest bid for this project came from Williford Orman Construction with $425,812.

Next, the board of education moved from approving new bids to renewing bids. Calhoun explained the process of approving the renewal of a bid.

“At the end of the year, if the customer, the board of education, is still happy with the services and the price that we’re paying, and the vendor is still comfortable with the price that they quoted for us the past year, under the rules and regulations, we can renew that (contract) under the same terms.”

With this in mind, the BOE approved renewals for ceiling title installations with E&E Acoustical, portable classroom leasing with Metro Trailer Leasing and electrical lighting/supplies with Mayer Electric.

“This is the first of three change orders where you will be asked to take money back because at the end of the project, we were under budget, so we have saved money,” Calhoun said.

The additions to Calera Elementary School went under budget by $23,784.98.

Another project that went under budget was the window replacement at Shelby Elementary School. This project aimed to replace windows at the school over three phases and saved $10, 500. The new canopies at Chelsea Middle School were the final projects to go under budget by another $10,500.

“We are very fortunate to have been able to take money back and balance it out,” Calhoun said.

The next Shelby County Schools Board of Education meeting will be held on Thursday, April 18 at 5 p.m. Those interested in learning more about Shelby County Schools can visit Shelbyed.k12.al.us.

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