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City school board awards middle school construction bid; work to begin in May


Kristin Mamrack



In a special meeting this morning, the Columbus Municipal School District board of trustees awarded a bid for construction of Columbus Middle School, clearing the way for improvements to be made on existing city schools. 


A $22 million bond issue earlier was passed -- by 79 percent -- to build a new middle school on 48 acres of land at the intersection of highways 373 and 45 North; the new middle school is expected to open in the fall of 2010. 


The construction bid this morning was awarded to West Brothers Construction, which bid $19.1 million. 


"We''re real excited about the bid," said CMSD Superintendent Dr. Del Phillips. "We felt like we''re in the market at exactly the right time for this large of a job and I felt like we got really good prices. We had 10 strong bidders and we felt good about the competition. 


"West Brothers is a local company; they employ local people," Phillips added. "They have a vested interest in doing a remarkable job because they live here. I think it worked out wonderfully for everyone involved." 


The bid refers to a total of 154,684 square feet. 


Construction on the new middle school likely will start in May. 


The school board also granted permission to advertise for classroom additions at Stokes-Beard Elementary Technology and Communication Magnet School, for classroom and multi-purpose additions at Sale Elementary International Studies Magnet School and for a classroom addition at Cook Elementary Fine Arts Magnet School. 


The advertisement for Sale will include a base bid for the addition of four classrooms, which will have windows and be "pre-wired" for technology, and alternate bids for a "play gym" and library additions. 


The advertisement for Stokes-Beard will be for base bids on the addition of four classrooms and alternate bids on the addition of four more classrooms. 


The advertisement at Cook will be for base bids on the addition of eight classrooms and alternate bids on an additional four classrooms. 


The CMSD will advertise for bids on a total of about 42,000 square feet of additions, including 15,678 square feet at Sale, 11,580 square feet at Stokes-Beard and 15,720 square feet at Cook. 


"It''s something we''ve had in the planning cycle, since prior to the (new middle school) bond issue," Phillips said of the additions. "We were strategically waiting to see what the solid number on the middle school was before we started advertising and moving forward with those plans of additions at the schools." 


Work on the additions is expected to be complete by Aug. 1, 2010.




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