School project attracts interest

Published 8:52 pm Wednesday, July 22, 2009

By By Kerry Whipple Bean

Two dozen general contractors have sought information about the new Brewton Middle School construction project, a sign of the economic times that could bode well for the cost of the facility, city schools Superintendent Lynn Smith said.
Twenty-two of the contractors who have requested packets about the project were considered qualified for the job, Smith told school Brewton Board of Education members Monday.
Contractors were pre-qualified based on criteria including that they had completed similar projects, that building owners were happy with the work and that there was no litigation involved.
That company did not ultimately decide to pursue the project, but several “major contractors” are interested, Smith said.
The middle school construction project will go out for bid in August, so that school board members can approve a bid at their September meeting, Smith said.
The middle school will be relocated from its Liles Boulevard facility to about 100 acres on the corner of U.S. 31 North and Old Castleberry Road.
In a five-year capital plan approved Monday, the school board set aside $16 million for construction of the school, but Smith said that figure depends on bids received from contractors.
The capital plan also includes some smaller projects, such as stadium improvements at the high school and maintenance work at the elementary school.
The state requires each school district to submit a five-year capital plan in order to receive state bond money designated for construction and other capital projects.
Brewton’s $1.29 million in state funding is expected to go toward the middle school.
The bulk of funding for the new school will come from a $20 million bond issue taken out by the City of Brewton late last year. The school board will repay the bond issue in large part from the proceeds of a 10-mill ad valorem tax for schools.

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