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With more than $9 million in the bank ready to invest in facilities projects, the Grady County School System is waiting on construction plans to be finalized so that major projects at Eastside and Northside elementary schools can be put out for bid and construction can begin.
School system finance officer, Dan Broome, reported to the board Tuesday night that proceeding with planned facilities projects would not suffer delays due to a shortage of cash.
“We have the funds on hand necessary to cover the project so there is no reason for delay money-wise,” Broome said.
As part of the facilities improvements, the school board voted unanimously Tuesday night to accept School Superintendent Dr. Kermit Gilliard’s recommendation to contract with PDC Construction Inc. of Bainbridge to serve as the construction project manager for the Eastside Elementary School and Northside Elementary School projects.
Between $4 and $5 million is expected to be spent for improvements to Eastside Elementary School including construction of a new cafeteria and kitchen as well as new administrative offices, classrooms and media center. The local system is eligible for approximately $3 million in state funds for the project and the remainder would be from the new sales tax.
“Very little has been changed in this building since it was moved to Cairo,” Dr. Gilliard said. The main building at Eastside was originally constructed in 1956 as Beckbranch School in Calvary and was moved to the current site in 1984/1985.
The Northside project is for the construction of a new cafeteria for the school.
JCI Contractors of Moultrie and Sheridan Construction of Macon were asked to submit proposals to serve as construction managers. JCI declined to participate due to their current work load and after evaluation by a committee comprised of the system’s architect, Greg Smith, Superintendent Gilliard, finance officer Broome and maintenance director Dave Mitchell, PDC Construction was selected as the top choice for the job.
In related news, maintenance director Mitchell updated the board on projects undertaken by his department over the summer and in this fiscal year to-date.
Board member Teresa Gee Hardy requested a project report at each monthly board meeting that details all of the facilities projects, expected completion dates as well as the source of funding for the project.
Dr. Gilliard said that was information he could easily produce for the board’s inspection each month.