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County makes headway on construction projects

 

Tim Pratt

 

STARKVILLE -- The Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors Monday opened bids on a facility to replace the county schools'' central office, which was damaged in 2005. 

 

Supervisors also offered their official support to an expansion project at Oktibbeha County Hospital and prepared to open bids on its upcoming renovation.  

 

Supervisors opened bids on the new Oktibbeha County Education Building, set for construction next to the Oktibbeha County Courthouse Annex on West Main Street. The two-story, 8,500-square-foot structure will house the school district''s administrative offices and be located at the site of the former New Process Cleaners and the old county schools administration building. Demolition on the two existing buildings began this weekend. 

 

The board took the 10 contractors'' bids under advisement and has 45 days to accept one, Board President Marvell Howard said. Bids ranged from $2.18 million to $2.56 million.  

 

The school district moved out of the former education building after it was damaged in Hurricane Katrina, District 5 Supervisor John Young said. The county received $1.6 million from the Mississippi Development Authority to help pay for the new central office building. County school officials currently use the Hudson''s Dirt Cheap building on Louisville Street as their central office.  

 

"Right now, we''ll look at (the bids) very carefully and hopefully within two weeks we''ll award a contract for the bid," Howard said. "We''re just going over the bids and making sure everything is in place." 

 

 

 

Hospital expansion 

 

Officials at Oktibbeha County Hospital also have another project in the works.  

 

The hospital plans to build a 13,700-square-foot medical building at the corner of Hospital Road and Jackson Street, which it would lease to a women''s clinic. The facility still must be approved by the Mississippi State Department of Health''s Board of Health, OCH Spokeswoman Mel Thurlow said, but the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors on Monday approved a resolution of support for the project.  

 

According to Thurlow, the hospital will finance the construction, which is estimated to cost approximately $2.5 million. It will not be paid for as part of the larger hospital renovation project, which will be funded by general obligation bonds.  

 

County voters in November 2008 voted in favor of supervisors issuing up to $27.5 million in general obligation bonds for the large-scale renovation project, which includes new rooms, state-of-the-art equipment and other amenities, though the board estimates it will cost about $21 million. Supervisors will open bids for the large-scale hospital renovation project Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the Oktibbeha County Courthouse.

 

 

 

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