City BOE could save on construction

Published 8:48 pm Wednesday, December 17, 2008

By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
There may be a bright spot for Brewton City Schools officials about to embark on construction of a new middle school: The economy could mean a tougher bid competition - and lower construction costs for the school.
Smith said construction costs have gone up over the past few years in the area, especially after a series of hurricanes including Ivan.
Brewton Board of Education member Terrill Neal, who has taken a leading role on the board for planning the new school, said he thinks more bidders will try for the construction project.
School board members agreed earlier this year to purchase about 100 acres of property on U.S. 31 North and Old Castleberry Road for the new middle school.
The City of Brewton, which sold the school board the property, has worked with a bond company to sell $20 million in bonds for the project.
Smith said Monday that half of those have been sold, and the others will be sold after the first of next year.
The bonds are tax-free bank qualified bonds, and a municipality is limited to $10 million of such bonds per calendar year, Smith said. The school board expects to be able to use more of the money than previously expected - $19.5 million. Smith credited Neal's work on the project for the higher amount.
Smith and Neal have also met recently with Alabama Department of Transportation officials on preliminary plans for traffic flow at the new school site. DOT officials are looking at a number of options for U.S. 31 and Old Castleberry Road.

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