Press Release: School Construction Contract Awarded to MAPP

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Submitted by Delia Taylor of Taylor Media

Central School Board Awards Construction Bid

for New Middle and Intermediate Schools

Board to Pursue Aggressive Construction Schedule

            CENTRAL, La.  — The Central School Board last night (July 21) awarded the contract to construct the Central Community School District’s new middle and intermediate schools to MAPP Construction, LLC, of Baton Rouge.

            Superintendent Michael Faulk said MAPP Construction’s low bid of $33,448,000 was unanimously approved by the board.  The bid includes construction costs for the two schools on the district’s 83 acres located on Sullivan Road, northeast of the Gurney Road intersection.

            Faulk said the new intermediate school, which will house grades 3-5, is scheduled to open August 2011, while the new middle school, which will house grades 6-8, is set to be completed for January 2012.

            “We are very pleased to be starting the construction phase.  The need for these new schools is much overdue.  Our student population has outgrown our current facilities, plus what we have now is outdated and costly to maintain,“ Faulk said.

            “We have asked our contractor to stay on a very aggressive schedule to get these new schools open as soon as possible.  It will be important that we take advantage of every day for us to keep our schedule,” Faulk said.

            The school board held a groundbreaking ceremony for the two new schools at the Sullivan Road property on Monday in anticipation of awarding the contract bid at Wednesday night’s special meeting. 

            Faulk said the new intermediate school will encompass about 113,000 square feet and contain 39 general classrooms and nine math/science classrooms.  The new middle school will be a 146,000-square-foot complex with 42 general classrooms and six science laboratory classrooms. 

            He said the board selected the contractors base bid, plus an alternate bid to construct 12 additional classrooms on each campus, thereby increasing each school’s capacity to 1,200 students.

            “The base plan would have only allowed for 900 students on each campus, but both of our schools are already at that number.  We had to make sure our plans allowed for some growth,” Faulk said, noting that the July 15 enrollment count for the intermediate school was 827, while the middle school count was at 894.  He anticipates more students enrolling at both schools once classes begin in August.

            Faulk said the construction bid came in within the board’s anticipated price range.  He said the plans call for two independent campuses that share a common cafeteria, but with separate entrances.  The two schools will also share access to a multi-purpose facility.

            “This plan allows for the two campuses to function separately, but with the savings of having only one cafeteria, which is the most costly building on campus,” Faulk said.

            Faulk said the district is currently leasing the former Starkey Academy and several temporary buildings to house its students in grades 3-5. The new school will allow the district to save approximately $400,000 in yearly rental costs.

            At the same time, he anticipates saved maintenance costs on managing the new middle school.  The existing Central Middle School is outdated and in need of major repairs.  Cost estimates show that the district could construct the new school for less than the cost of renovating the old one.

                Faulk said the classrooms in the new schools will be equipped with state-of-the-art educational technology that will enhance learning opportunities for students.  The campuses also will be designed for “small learning communities” to optimize cross-teaching, he said.

                Funding for the two new schools was approved by local voters in May 2009.  Voters passed a ½-cent sales tax to pay for the construction of the new middle school and a 14.4-mill property tax to pay for the construction of the new intermediate school.  Funding also was allocated in both approved tax propositions to acquire property for the new schools.

                Additionally, voters approved a third tax proposition last year — a 9.25-mill property tax — to pay for renovations at the district’s other schools.  The first phase of repairs began this summer, and the second phase is scheduled to take place during the summer of 2011.

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