School officials are currently wrapping up the planning phase for Pepperell Middle School as the day to move out and tear down the old building draws closer.
Floyd County Schools are currently undergoing a value engineering process which was discussed with board members at Monday night’s meeting. The blueprints and computer-generated image of the school are suggested plans, no plans have been finalized or voted on by the board of education as yet.
“With these things it always depends on what screen you are looking at,” David Van Hook said of the simulated middle school. “This brick may look a little bit different on another screen.”
According to Van Hook, who is the director of facilities for the school system, the system is still looking for ways to save money on the project.
Superintendent Jeff Wilson told the board that due to rising construction costs the project is running over its $19 million budget and the system is looking for ways to cut costs on the school.
One of the ways the system will do so is to make the windows smaller he said. Smaller windows would actually have an added safety feature because they will keep people outside the school from looking in the windows.
“We are looking at ways that we can keep the building the way we want it and still come as close to budget, it’s going to be tight,” Wilson said. “I will find that money somewhere.”
Another security feature the school will have is exit-only doors and fewer entrances. The new school will have the cafeteria and media center at the front of school, which is where most visitors go when they are visiting the school, Van Hook said.
“The more we get the details ironed out, the more firm that budget gets, the closer that number gets to reality,” he said.
The Georgia Department of Education has approved for the school to go without urinals, Van Hook said, however the school will use concrete blocks instead of the high impact drywall proposed at last month’s meeting.
The school is scheduled to be abated and demolished from June 10- July 22. A capital outlay request will be sent to the state to request permission to begin construction. While the system is waiting for that request to be approved, they will clear the site and lay the foundation.
The system cannot begin placing steel beams until the request is approved, which is anticipated to be sometime in September. At a previous meeting Wilson told the board they will have a called meeting as soon as the capital outlay request is approved so construction can begin as soon as possible.
The primary funding source for the school is the 1-cent education local option sales tax, which voters approved an extension of last fall. The board is looking to finish Pepperell Middle and the Armuchee gymnasium before turning their attention to modernizing Armuchee High School.