Board chooses contractor for CPS construction project

The Cartersville School Board added a couple of items to Monday night’s agenda that weren’t ready in time to be discussed at Thursday night’s work session.

School board members approved 6-0, with Secretary Pat Broadnax absent, to approve Womack, Lewis and Smith Inc. as the contractor for the construction project at the primary school at a cost of $3,029,620.

The project, funded by the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, includes relocating the school entrance to the front of the building, enlarging the lobby and office area and rewiring the entire building for electricity
and technology.

Superintendent Dr. Howard Hinesley said several contractors showed up at the pre-bid meeting and were interested in bidding for the project, but Womack, Lewis and Smith, which also is building the new Adairsville Elementary School for the Bartow County School District, was the only one to submit a proposal.

“At a minimum, they’ve got to run two shifts every day to get this job done [by the first day of school], and to find a large enough electrical subcontractor that has that many people willing to work that many days to get the job done was a real challenge,” he said, noting a “huge chunk” of the cost is labor.

Hinesley also said the company plans to start working soon on preparations for the rewiring project — which won’t begin until May 20, the day after school’s out — after students go home each day.

“They’ve assured us that the teachers won’t even know they’ve been there,” he said.

The superintendent said the project “gave us a little bit of heartburn” because labor costs drove the price up past the $2.6 million estimated cost.

“I think the electrical alone is about a million dollars in labor,” he said.    

The other item added was new football uniforms for the Purple Hurricanes.

The board unanimously approved awarding the bid for the uniforms to low bidder Owens Sporting Goods in Rome for $46,630.

“As you know, you give the authority to the school to bid soft goods, which are your uniforms, to give them a little bit of flexibility, and we accepted the bid for a couple of reasons,” Hinesley said. “Not just that it’s time [for new uniforms], but [football coach Joey King] is going to have to have more uniforms in the future. We anticipate going from a high this year of 112 football players to over 130, with 11 graduating this year and a rising ninth-grade class approaching 30 or more.”

The fate of the old uniforms hasn’t been decided yet, but they might be used as practice uniforms for the varsity team, game uniforms for the ninth-grade and junior varsity teams or passed down to the middle school team.   

Board members also unanimously approved waiving the policy on bids, proposals and quotations in order to buy a customized website that includes a messaging system from Blackboard at a cost of $30,050.80 for the design and $17,474.75 annually for installation and messaging.

The new system is scheduled to be ready to “flip the switch” by July 1, Hinesley said.

In other business, the board:

• Modified the 2016-17 system calendar to designate Tuesday, Feb. 21, as a student makeup day for the Jan. 9 ice and snow day.

• Approved keeping the 2018 tuition rate the same as this year: $200 per family for existing out-of-district students who pay by June 30 and $300 per child after June 30, “the best deal in the state,” Finance Committee Chairwoman Kelley Dial said.

• Approved an overnight trip for the high school Future Business Leaders of America to attend the FBLA State Leadership Conference March 12-14 in Athens.

• Recognized graduation coach Robbin Hurley as the Matthew Hill-Michael Dean HEARTS Employee of the Month for February and presented her with a $50 gift card to Appalachian Grill from New Frontier of Bartow County Inc. Her name also was added to a perpetual plaque that’s displayed at the central office.

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