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School board OKs $15 million bid for new Columbia Middle

Posted: April 29, 2012 - 12:05am
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Photo by Barry Paschal Middle School All State Chorus members were recognized at a recent board of education meeting. Shown are Joseph Kim, Columbia Middle School (from left); Rachel Kmiecik, Columbia Middle School; Mikayla Nodorft, Columbia Middle School; Katie Parnell, Columbia Middle School; Lauren Templeton, Evans Middle School; Khalani Horne, Evans Middle School; Julia Cooper, Evans Middle School; Haley Branch, Grovetown Middle School; Kendall Clay, Lakeside Middle School; and Alafia Adeleke, Riverside Middle School.
Photo by Barry Paschal Middle School All State Chorus members were recognized at a recent board of education meeting. Shown are Joseph Kim, Columbia Middle School (from left); Rachel Kmiecik, Columbia Middle School; Mikayla Nodorft, Columbia Middle School; Katie Parnell, Columbia Middle School; Lauren Templeton, Evans Middle School; Khalani Horne, Evans Middle School; Julia Cooper, Evans Middle School; Haley Branch, Grovetown Middle School; Kendall Clay, Lakeside Middle School; and Alafia Adeleke, Riverside Middle School.

The Columbia County school board approved a $15.2 million bid Tuesday to build a new Columbia Middle School.

Vidalia, Ga.-based McDonald Construction won the bid and likely will start construction once work clearing the site on William Few Parkway concludes. Site work started this year and should finish soon, school officials said.

The board spent about $1.1 million in October to purchase six parcels near Grovetown High for the new school to replace the more than 50-year-old building on Columbia Road.

Officials said the floor plan for the new school will be similar to the two-story Stallings Island Middle School in Martinez.

The replacement school is part of a $188 million 1-percent sales tax package voters approved in July 2010.

Work already is underway to construct a new Evans Elementary near the current school on Gibbs Road.

Once it and Columbia Middle open in August 2013, work likely will start on a new Martinez Elementary. Unlike the other schools, Martinez Elementary will be rebuilt at its current site.

Superintendent Charles Nagle has said that pupils zoned for Martinez Elementary will temporarily move to Bel Air Elementary. Construction crews then will raze the current school and build a larger one, costing about $12.5 million, in its place.

Once the new Martinez Elementary opens in August 2014, pupils at Bel Air Elementary will be rezoned for Martinez and Evans elementary schools.

School officials intend to close Bel Air Elementary, but don’t know yet what will become of that property, which is located on a commercial corridor along North Belair Road.

In other building news, the board adopted a resolution asking the state Department of Education to assist in developing a new five-year facilities plan for the school system.

“Most of the projects we have under the current plan have been completed (and) we need to add some additional projects so that we can get ... consideration for funding,” Nagle wrote in an e-mail.

The last facilities plan was updated three years ago, Nagle said. The new plan, he said, likely will focus on renovations and repairs.

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