Local News

January 8, 2013

Whitfield County school board splits $2.1M project

Members of the Whitfield County Board of Education decided Monday night what companies will build Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) labs in county schools early this spring. The project is being funded by a $2.6 million state grant.

Rome-based Pinson’s Construction was awarded the contract to build the labs in New Hope Middle School, North Whitfield Middle School, Valley Point Middle School and Westside Middle School. Dalton-based Cope Brothers Construction Co. was awarded the contract to build the labs at Southeast Whitfield High School, Northwest Whitfield High School and the Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy.

Felker Construction Co., J&J Contractors and R.K. Redding Construction also submitted bids.

Members of the academy’s board of directors recommended giving the entire job to Cope Brothers because of its reputation and its ties to the local economy, but school board member Bill Worley said using two companies “will be more cost-efficient.”

“There’s a lot of difference there,” Worley, vice chairman of the school board, said of the pricing between bids.

$33,830 to be exact, according to James W. Buckley and Associates, the architectural firm that designed the STEM labs and oversaw the bid process that was split three ways: middle school bids, high school bids and a combined bid for both.

Cope Brothers’ combined bid was $1.83 million, while Pinson’s combined bid was slightly higher: $1.88 million. Chattanooga-based J&J Contractors had the lowest combined bid at $1.82 million, while Bremen-based R.K. Redding had the highest combined bid at $2.2 million. Dalton-based Felker Construction only submitted for the high schools at $1.01 million.

Splitting the bid between Pinson’s middle school bid of $921,170 and Cope Brothers high school bid of $875,000 brings a total of $1.796 million. Getting the price tag as low as possible allows the construction companies to work on alternative projects, said Tim Fleming, career academy principal.

“We looked at trying to get the best bang for our buck ... and one of the toughest parts was coming up with alternate projects to do along with the STEM labs,” Fleming said. “North Whitfield needs exterior stairs because it has a steep drop at its (already existing) agriculture lab. We also want to have some epoxy flooring for the middle schools when we add the STEM labs. Once you remove walls you don’t know what is beneath it so we want to make sure the floors are top quality.”

Renovating the “outdated” engineering lab at Northwest Whitfield High is another alternative project expected to be included, said Fleming.

“Engineering rose to the top of our local needs,” he added. “The engineering lab there was really in the worst shape. It needs a lot of updating and it needs it soon.”

Adding the extra projects to (the two-company contract of $1.796 million) is “expected to bring the final total to around $2.1 million,” said Richard Schoen, assistant superintendent.

“Our goal is that the contingency fund isn’t used,” Fleming added. “If it isn’t, we can look at adding on additional projects.”

The “contingency fund” is $200,000 from the grant that the board of education approved to be set aside during construction to pay for any unexpected expenses, said school officials.

Fleming said members of the school and academy boards will look at renovations to the agriculture lab at Southeast Whitfield High School and renovations to the Northwest Whitfield High School broadcast room if the contingency fund remains unused.

Text Only
Local News
  • Bugs and Kisses 1 mlh.jpg Local stores expect tax holiday to create lots of sales

    Local retailers say Georgia’s sales tax holiday weekends mean big business for them, and they are gearing up to capitalize on this year’s tax-free shopping on Friday and Saturday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Esme file mw 2.jpg Still fighting

    Ten-year-old Esme Miller was celebrated earlier this year for the way she’s handled a bout with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Historical photos of Murray County needed

    Maybe you have a photograph of a well-known preacher from the 1940s. Or maybe you have a photograph taken of a church choir from the 1920s.

    July 30, 2014

  • State DOT wants your input on transportation needs

    As state and national leaders consider alternatives for funding future transportation needs, the Georgia Department of Transportation wants to know what Georgians would like in their 21st century transportation system and how they recommend paying for it.

    July 30, 2014

  • Jail for Justice Tour event here tonight

    The Moral Monday Georgia Coalition, the NAACP-led multi-racial, multi-issue advocacy group, will host an event in partnership with the Georgia Dreamers Alliance, Coalition of Latino Leaders (CLILA), Whitfield NAACP and the Whitfield County Democratic Party at Dalton’s Mack Gaston Community Center tonight from 5 to 9.

    July 30, 2014

  • Two charged with tampering with evidence in drug investigation

    Two people have been arrested and charged with tampering with evidence in connection with the synthetic marijuana bust in February involving a Dalton business owner.

    July 30, 2014

  • Beaulieu to close operations for one week for inventory

    Floorcovering giant Beaulieu of America will conduct a physical inventory of its buildings and facilities next week, with only salaried employees reporting for work.

    July 30, 2014

  • Green spot closing 1 mlh.jpg A part of the family

    Larry Green can’t remember the exact date. But he says it was about 54 years ago when his father Marvin took him to see the new store he and his brother Herman had commissioned Red Jennings to build at 309 W. Emery St. in Dalton.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • New high school?

    The only means for “staying small” and preserving “The Dalton Way” in Dalton Public Schools may be through expansion, Superintendent Jim Hawkins said Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Bond denied for man arrested in synthetic marijuana bust

    A Dalton business owner charged in a synthetic marijuana bust was denied bond Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014