Classroom construction contract awarded

Published 5:13 pm Tuesday, August 9, 2022

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JACKSON – Progress is being made towards the goal of having all students at Gaston STEM Leadership Academy attend class on the same campus.

At their regular meeting here on Aug. 8, the Northampton County Board of Education approved a contract for design build services at the school.

Gaston STEM Leadership Academy serves elementary and middle school students, but currently some of the youngest enrolled students attend class at the nearby Squire Elementary School campus. The goal of the proposed project is to construct six early childhood classrooms on Gaston STEM’s campus.

Those classrooms would be housed in a metal building on a cement foundation, and would be connected to the main school building by an enclosed, secure walkway. The new building would also have its own utilities, and will have a projected life expectancy of 30 years.

“The cost for this building on the Request for Qualifications was listed between $900,000 and $1 million. It is approved funding coming from ESSER [Elementary, Secondary School Emergency Relief) money,” explained Phil Matthews, who serves as Assistant to the Interim Superintendent, as he presented the information to the board.

The board previously approved issuing a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the project during their July meeting.

Matthews explained they received two responses to the RFQ. The first company proposed building mobile units, meaning they did not meet the qualifications of the project. The second company was Mason Builders, which is locally based in Gaston.

“The administration recommends partnering with Mason Builders to design and build this project,” Matthews stated.

Board member Clinton Williams expressed support for the project and for the recommendation. He motioned to accept the contract with Mason Builders.

Board member Barbara Stephenson seconded. The vote was unanimously in favor among those in attendance. Dr. Marjorie Edwards was unable to attend the meeting.