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School construction delayed

WINDSOR – The delay will be minor.

During their regularly scheduled meeting here yesterday (Monday) morning, members of the Bertie County Board of Education learned that construction on the new Bertie Middle School is running a bit behind schedule.

However, the delay is not the fault of the project’s general contractor n Barnhill Construction of Tarboro. Rather, the holdup came while the school’s architect, DKWA of Rocky Mount, and the school board worked through the value engineering portion of the project in an effort to keep the cost at or below $17.5 million.

Richard Andrews of DKWA was at Monday’s meeting to offer an update on the project. He also informed the board of two change orders n one dealing with the delay while the other pertained to moving a county water line along US 13 at the main entrance of the school property.

Andrews said the new date of final completion is now set for July 6, 2007.

That news was a cause of concern for Bertie Schools Superintendent Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart. She was hopeful that the staff at the two current middle schools (Southwestern and C.G. White) could begin moving in equipment and supplies at the close of the 2005-06 academic year next June.

Andrews eased those fears by saying that barring any unforeseen delays, the new school should be ready for occupancy by June.

As far as the ongoing construction, Andrews reported that the concrete footing and piers have been poured on areas A and B. Erection of the steel framework has begun on area A and is expected to begin over the next 30 days on area B.

He added that all steel framework, including areas C and D, is expected to be erected by Oct. 11 and the floor slabs poured by Nov. 22.

“By December, you’ll see the walls and the roof on the building,” Andrews said. “At that time, work will begin on the inside portions of the buildings.”

Prior to the board’s approval of the two change orders, Dr. Collins-Hart urged Andrews to present all necessary changes as soon as possible in order for the school board to have ample time to study them prior to their next scheduled meeting.