ONE STEP CLOSERPublished 12:05am Saturday, January 19, 2013
The Andalusia City School Board is one step closer to closing the current Andalusia Middle School campus.
Superintendent Ted Watson said this week that they have plans ready for the additional wings at Andalusia Elementary School and Andalusia High School that will house sixth through eighth graders.
The board announced in July 2011 that it would close Andalusia Middle School and place sixth grade students at AES and seventh and eighth graders at the high school – a move that would require additional space at both schools.
In August, the board selected Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood as the architect for the projects.
Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood architects estimated the two projects would cost $5.39 million. They first proposed a two-story structure reminiscent of AHS be built on the campus for AMS, an idea that so resonated with board members that they had other firms submit new proposals with two-story facilities.
The new Andalusia Junior High School building will face Fourth Avenue, Watson said.
Watson said since the architecture of the new wing looks a lot like the front façade of AHS, some who have seen the drawing asked if the board was putting a drive in front of the school.
“I’d like to say that we are not going to build a driveway in front of the high school,” he said. “It will be a dual drive for parent and bus pick-up.”
Watson said on Thursday that plans are to advertise for bids for the projects by the end of January.
“We will also have a prebid meeting for questions and answers in early February and let the bids in mid-February,” he said.
Watson said this is an exciting time for the system.
“We’re excited to be moving ahead,” he said. “We’re extremely excited to put together a building that will be with us for the next 100 years.”
Watson said the target date to open the facilities is still fall 2014.
The project is being paid for by a $5.5 million bond issue, in which the City of Andalusia of Andalusia has pledged 2.5 mills per year of property taxes for the duration.