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BY PORTSIA SMITH
The Caroline County School Board yesterday awarded a $10 million contract to renovate and expand Bowling Green Primary School.
After a negotiation process, Richmond construction company Loughridge & Co. agreed to make some cuts to the original project so that it would fit within the board's budget.
Loughridge's earlier bid was $10.187 million before the cuts were made. Some of those cuts included not putting down terrazzo floors, which saved about $22,000, and using less expensive materials, such as aluminum.
The board gave Superintendent Greg Killough permission to work out the rest of the contract, which could include more cuts, and it will be officially approved after it is reviewed by the board's attorney.
The project will consolidate Bowling Green Primary, which educates pre-kindergarten through second-grade students, and Bowling Green Elementary, which educates third-grade through fifth-grade students, on the primary school campus.
Features of the expanded and renovated facility will include new classrooms, new student restrooms, a new, more secure school entrance, a new bus canopy, a new cafeteria and kitchen, an expanded and renovated media center, additional computer labs and a relocated and expanded administration and guidance area.
The $10 million does not include a gymnasium, which parents have expressed is important to have within the school.
Loughridge was also the lowest bidder for the gym project at around $478,000.
The board Monday voted to allocate $65,004.85, which was received last month from Fort A.P. Hill from the National Forest Reserve, to the Bowling Green School Gym Project.
Parent volunteers said they will hold fundraisers to try to raise the rest of the money for the gym project, which is not in the current budget.
Loughridge has built some local structures including Moss-Nuckols Elementary in Louisa County, the Spotsylvania Fleet Transportation facility and the American Family Fitness in Southpoint II in Spotsylvania. It is also constructing a new stadium at King George High and the Sealston Sports Complex in King George.
On Jan. 30, the school board voted to withdraw from a $10.3 million agreement it had made with Whittaker during the first round of bids.
The decision to re-bid was based on a recommendation by Killough, whose goal was to refine the renovation and accept a bid that would fit within the $10.5 million budget--$500,000 of which would go toward the architectural firm's fee.
In January, the Caroline Board of Supervisors voted 4-2 to add $1.5 million to the $9 million that was already allocated, bringing the total funds available to $10.5 million.
Supervisors also borrowed $3 million last year--adding about 2 cents to the real estate tax rate for the next 20 years--for the renovation.
The other $6 million came from federal funds in the form of low-interest bonds from the Virginia Department of Education as part of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The federal stimulus provides funding for school consolidation projects, facilities more than 35 years old and projects in economically stressed areas. Bowling Green Primary is about 53 years old.
Other board action included:
Approving a 6 percent salary increase to all employees to offset a state-mandated 5 percent increase in retirement contributions.
Discussing the interview process that will begin this week for a new high school head football coach.
Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419