Originally created 12/25/05

School offices could be tardy



Plans to complete a third floor of a new Columbia County Board of Education administration building might delay its opening, school officials say.

Initially intended to be a two-story structure, the school board agreed to add the skeleton of an additional floor earlier this year, School Superintendent Tommy Price said. At a recent board meeting, Mr. Price said he wants to complete the third floor of the building on Hereford Farm Road in Evans.

"We're going to rebid that, which is a little unusual, because we've got a contractor putting up the first two floors and the skeleton of the third floor," Mr. Price said.

The rebidding process might push back the May 17 completion date a few weeks, the superintendent said.

"It isn't like a school," he said. "It doesn't have to be finished at a set point in time.

"It may delay us a few weeks, depending on how long this process takes."

Rebidding the completion of the third floor is a cost-saving measure on the $4.5 million project, but Mr. Price said it's too early to put a dollar amount to how much the board might save.

The board's current main office in Appling will remain in use once most of the system's departments move to the new administration building.

"It will primarily become our technology operation," Mr. Price said. "We'll put all our servers and technology staff there."

Next door to the administration building, a new Evans Middle School is still on target for an August opening, Mr. Price said.

The $14 million school will replace the Evans Middle School at Belair and Washington roads.

In May 2004, the school board sold the 21-acre Evans Middle campus for $4.8 million to developers wanting to build a shopping center at the site.

During the next five years, the board hopes to build at least three new schools and complete additions to Lewiston and River Ridge elementary schools, according to school system plans.

Reach Donnie Fetter at 868-1222, ext. 113, or donnie.fetter@augustachronicle.com.

What's next:
Columbia County school officials are planning to open a new administrative building next year on Hereford Farm Road. The exact opening date could change because of the addition of a third floor to the building, but officials expect the opening to occur in early summer.