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HC schools ‘in great shape’

WINTON – Hertford County Superintendent of Schools Dennis Deloatch presented the long term facility needs survey for the county’s schools to the Board of Commissioners during Monday’s meeting.

The long range plan includes potential improvements to existing facilities and additional facilities needed to accommodate projected enrollments through the 2014 n 2015 school year. The improvements will provide safe and comfortable environments necessary to support educational programs.

According to Deloatch, the school system is required to update the long range plan every five years.

“Our facilities are in good shape,” Deloatch said.

The facility needs plan did not require approval from the board of commissioners and Deloatch was not seeking funding, but the plan serves as an update to the commissioners.

“We need to replace mobile units at several schools and we have some concerns at Ahoskie Elementary,” Deloatch added.

Deloatch provided a detailed description of each school’s facilities, student capacities and costs for potential long-term improvements.

The plan calls for eventually replacing the roof on the fifth grade wing of Ahoskie Elementary. Other long-term improvements include replacing the roof in the gym area at Bearfield Primary, replacing windows at C.S. Brown Alternative Center and replacing athletic press box, concession stand and ticket booth at Hertford County Middle School.

Deloatch emphasized the potential costs for the long-term improvements are much lower than the majority of other counties in the state.

The Board of Commissioners also heard from Mike Barnette representing the Mid-East Commission concerning the Community Development Block Grant program.

On January 3 the board approved beneficiaries for the 2004 CDBG Scattered Site Housing (SSH) Program.

“Our staff has confirmed ownership, verified incomes, conducted lead based paint inspections, developed a scope of work and received bids for each house,” Barnette said.

Barnette presented a list of bids for the housing rehabilitation projects to the board and explained two issues of interest that arose during the bid process.

According to Barnette, one contractor did not meet the bid criteria when he failed to enter price estimates for the listed projects and the low bid for one house in the SSH program was $82 per square foot (a much higher rate per square foot than the other houses). Barnette recommended not awarding the bid at this time.

Commissioner DuPont Davis questioned Barnette about one contractor involved in the bid process.

“We have had serious problems with this contractor in the town of Ahoskie before,” DuPont said.

Davis made a motion to redo the bid process and stressed the need to complete these projects as soon as possible.

“These people are in dire need,” Davis said. “Some of their houses are leaking.”

Barnette informed the board this should not be a problem.

“This will open the door for other qualified contractors,” Chairman Curtis Freeman added.

Davis emphasized the need to send all bid packages to interested contractors, make sure the packages are clear and to advertise for the bids with the newspaper. Davis also instructed Barnette to send the bid proposals to Hertford County Manager Loria Williams once they are received so Williams and Barnette can open the proposals together.