AES bid awarded

Published 5:33 pm Friday, December 20, 2019

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WINTON – The bid was a bit higher than expected, but with a $15 million state grant in hand Hertford County local government will proceed with its plans to build a new Ahoskie Elementary School.

At their regularly scheduled meeting here Monday night, the Hertford County Board of Commissioners approved two measures associated with that new construction. They established a Capital Project Ordinance, one that appropriates $20 million to cover all costs. Of that amount, $15 million is a grant from the state’s Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund. That grant requires a $5 million local match, which led to the second approved measure – a resolution calling for a public hearing at 9:15 a.m. on Jan. 6, 2020 in connection with the financing of the acquisition, construction, and equipping the new school.

A.R. Chesson Construction of Williamston submitted the low bid ($15,521,375) on the project. That winning bid was slightly higher than the estimated $14.8 million that the commissioners discussed at a meeting in June of this year when they chose one of three architectural options.

The chosen option is 57,150 square-foot facility across the street from the current Ahoskie Elementary School. It will accommodate 400 students (600 core) with 14 classrooms, a media center, cafeteria/kitchen, a gym (with a platform stage / no bleachers) and no auditorium. Space will be left vacant to possibly add four classrooms.

As outlined in the Capital Project Ordinance approved this past Monday, other costs associated with building the new school include $1.12 million for fixtures, furniture, equipment and technology, $1.1 million in contingency fees, $922,000 in architectural fees, $800,000 for site development, $276,000 for testing and geographical surveys, $255,000 in administrative costs (hiring a financial advisor as well as legal fees, etc.), and $5,625 in miscellaneous fees.

It was noted later in the meeting that the county has already expended approximately $650,000 in architectural fees and that the $922,000 in that line item of the project ordinance is a “not to exceed” cost. The county will be able to recoup their previous expenditure from the project ordinance.

“The contingency fees covers any unforeseen construction issues that may arise,” said David B. Cotton, Hertford County Interim Manager.

He added that the site development fees are based on the “going rate per acre” for that type of service, while stating that the testing and geographical surveying costs also cover the tap fees for the Town of Ahoskie’s water and wastewater systems.

“This is an all-inclusive 20 million dollar project,” Cotton noted.

It was not discussed as to when the actual construction will begin.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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