Board signs with school contractor

Published 7:55 am Thursday, October 29, 2009

By By Kerry Whipple Bean

In what board member Keith Miller joked was the “happiest vote ever,” the Brewton City Board of Education on Tuesday chose a general contractor to build the new middle school.
Rod Cooke Construction of Mobile submitted the low bid for the project. The total contract is for $14,909,255, Superintendent Lynn Smith said.
The project — which has been part of the school board’s plans for years — will take 18 months to complete. Smith said the school should be finished by June 2011 and ready for students to begin classes that fall.
Ten contractors submitted bids for the project, after 23 had pre-qualified to submit bids.
Rod Cooke’s initial bid was for $14,836,000, but the school board also sought prices for three alternate projects: an outdoor asphalt track at $52,000; polymer flooring for the corridors and lobby; and a heat recovery system for the gymnasium, at $31,000.
Those projects, along with some other minor changes to the contract, resulted in the new contract price.
The new school will be located on about 100 acres at the corner of Old Castleberry Road and U.S. 31 North, near the city water tower.
In plans unveiled to the public in May, school officials said the new school will have larger classrooms, wider hallways and a double gymnasium. 
The school will be laid out with offices, art, choir and band rooms, the media center and cafeteria in the center, with L-shaped wings on either side. The seventh and eighth grade classrooms will share one L — each grade taking a leg of the L — with fifth and sixth grades mirroring that layout on the other side. In the corner of each L is a science lab.
Board President Stephanie Walker thanked Smith and board member Terrill Neal, who worked closely on the bids for the project.