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Contractor selected for $7.8 million middle school renovation project

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By Kristin Beck

Carroll County Board of Education awarded the Carroll County Middle School renovation project bid to Marrilla Design and Construction of Lexington, Ky., at its meeting Thursday, Feb. 27.

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The board received nine bids for the project, which were opened Feb. 6. Marrilla had the lowest bid for both the base and the alternates selected Feb. 11, by the board at a work session meeting, Ron Murrell of Ross Tarrant Architects said. The base bid for the project is $7,434,659 with alternates 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 selected for a total construction cost of $7,798,115.

The project includes building a new gymnasium and locker rooms, as well as renovating the old gymnasium.

Construction is planned to begin at the end of March, weather permitting, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Pupil Personnel Larry Curell said.

The following are the alternates selected for the project: door hardware, $0; bus canopy, $104,004; renovate Rooms B08 and B09, $127,595; gymnasium equipment, $44,761; projector and screen, $23,132; exterior stairwell and egress, $36,868; and geothermal well extension, $27,096.

The board also approved the revised BG-1 for the project. The Department of Education requires the board to establish a new budget based on the construction bids, said Joe Nance of Ross, Sinclaire and Associates in Lexington, Ky. Adding in the architect/engineer fee, financing fees, the required 5 percent contingency and other incidentals, the total cost of the project is $8,923,996.

The district will fund the project with restricted cash set aside for the project, $1,338,496; School Facilities Construction Commission and local bond sales, $3,625,000; cash from the general fund dedicated to the project, $3,200,500; and leftover money from the last construction fund, $760,000.

“This sets forth our new budget for the project as we go forth,” Nance said.

Later in the meeting, the board also approved paying for the special inspections needed for the project – including concrete work, steel work, welding, etc. – which is already included in the BG-1 in the construction costs. The board approved hiring Thelen Associates at a cost not to exceed $54,950.

James comments on County Profile stats

Superintendent Lisa James, Ed.D., made a statement at the Board of Education meeting Thursday, Feb. 27, in response to The News-Democrat article published that day on the Kentucky County Profiles 2014-15 report. The report, prepared by the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics, compiled data with averages on the Appalachian region of Kentucky and compared it with the non-Appalachian area. It is a comprehensive collection of the most current economic, social, education and employment data available about each of Kentucky’s 120 counties. The last county profile report was released in 2012.

The report showed Carroll County’s poverty rate is far above the state average of 18.6 percent, along with the average for the Appalachian region at 25.1 percent. It also showed Carroll County falling below education averages in Eastern Kentucky.

“I wanted the board and the public to know that teachers and administrators of Carroll County Schools know first hand what we face in our school district with poverty,” James said. “We take it very seriously, and our district strives to continue to be a champion for kids, and in the last several years, we have put several interventions in place knowing those things. [We are] still struggling in the area of reading, and you as a board last January approved a huge initiative to push that reading with Lindamood-Bell, which is a nationally recognized program for … students who are struggling with the area of reading.

“We’ve also done a lot of enhancements for wrap around services. As you well now, we have counselors. We also have social workers, which is not in most cases around our surrounding districts to help provide extra wrap around services with that. And then, of course, a lot of our after school programs, our summer school programs, all of those are to help those kids that struggle the most and those kids that need extra kind hearts.”

James said she recently talked to the Carroll County High School team about 24/7 hope and research related to children living in poverty. “The number one thing is to give kids hope, and I think our staff and our administrators do a good championing with that aspect of it. We do have a lot of caring hearts, and sometimes that is all it takes is someone that makes a difference in children’s lives.”

James thanks ‘Winter Weather Team’

James recognized Carroll County Schools employees who are part of the “Winter Weather Team,” including Nadena Mahoney, Larry Curell, Bill Hogan, Darren Dunn, Rodney Maiden, Joe Dickerson and Dwayne Smith.

“I just wanted to say thank you,” she said. “I know that a lot of you wonder why we canceled sometimes, but I want you to know that these people are out on the roads experiencing first-hand, sending me pictures so I can make the right decision, and I value what they do at four o’clock in the morning.”