HCPS projects under budget

Published 9:16 am Saturday, May 23, 2009

WINTON – Under budget…those two little words mean nothing alone, but together they will save the Hertford County Public School System (HCPS) approximately $60,000.

At their meeting here on Monday, the Hertford County Board of Education awarded a construction contract to an Edenton-based company for work on two HCPS facilities.

With a combined base proposal of $1,488,619, John E. Bassett, Inc. was the low bidder on additions to the C.S. Brown Student Development Center in Winton and the Hertford County High School Football Field House in Ahoskie.

Figuring in three additions to the projects (combined at $168,085), the total construction costs came in at $1,656,704. Adding contingency ($82,835), architect fees ($172,941) and other costs ($28,500), the total project is valued at $1,940,980. That figure is $61,127 under the original budget.

As noted on the bid sheet, a total of eight companies submitted proposals for the work. John E. Bassett, Inc. was the lowest (base bid) on both projects as they proposed performing the C.S. Brown job for $892,871 and $608,748 for the field house addition. The original contract was estimated at just over $2 million – $1,329,180 for C.S. Brown and $672,927 for the field house.

According to Hertford County Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Basham, funding will come from two different sources. The bulk of the funding for the C.S. Brown project will come from the school system’s Capital Reserve Fund. The remainder will be paid for by Hertford County’s share of the proceeds generated by the North Carolina Education Lottery.

The entire field house project will be funded with lottery proceeds.

As of January 28, Basham said Hertford County had a lottery fund balance of $976,913 while its Capital Reserve Fund stood at $1.1 million. He stressed that no matching funds from the county were required for either project.

In regards to the construction timeline, the Board of Education was informed that process is expected to begin sometimes next month. Both projects are expected to be finished within seven months.

Board Chairman Ronald Baker noted that if the projects cannot be performed simultaneously, he would like to see the C.S. Brown work to be the top priority.

Board member David Shields suggested that the timing of the field house project be performed in a way not to disrupt the football season.

“If that project cannot be completed before the start of the football season, let’s wait to start that one when the season is over,” Shields said.

The C.S. Brown project will include a 5,308 square foot classroom addition to the existing building. A 552 square foot connecter will be constructed to link the buildings.

Within the new building will be four general classrooms, a science lab, office space, restrooms and rooms for storage and telecommunications. The project also includes replacing old windows in the existing building.

First opened in the early 1990’s, the HCHS football field house was never fully completed according to its original blueprints. That long-awaited completion is now just around the corner.

The new addition (4,752 square feet) will include a multi-purpose room, which will be primarily used as a practice area for the wresting team. Additionally, the new wing will house another athletic locker room (with space for 50 lockers), office space for athletic coaches, restrooms, storage area and a new fire alarm system.