Special ed renovations starting soon

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 3, 2009

Work is set to begin, after the Christmas holidays, on the nearly $300,000 renovation of the county school system’s special education department at the system’s central office.

Tuesday, board members awarded a $296,510 bid from Southern Structures for the work.

Interim superintendent Terry Holley said more than 12 companies submitted proposals for the project, the highest of which came in at $391,446.

The project is being funded by stimulus money specially designated for special education use.

“My plan is to call the contractor tonight,” Holley said. “I’d like to see them start right after the holidays, say Jan. 4.”

Holley said the project will allow for a complete renovation of the side of the central office building that houses the special needs pre-k program and alternative school.

“This project will bring the building up to code for our preschoolers,” he said. “We’ll be adding a restroom, new fire doors, new windows, new observation rooms with carpet — just a complete upgrade of the facility. And new air conditioners too.”

Holley said once the facility is complete, it will allow the county school system to “facilitate a lot more kids” as the special education needs of the county grows.

“You can say we can expand the program with the population need,” he said. “In the future, we’re going to have more kids qualify for this program, and once building is complete, we can accommodate those children in this facility.”

Holley said he and company owner Edwin Page will meet next week to outline a construction plan for the project.

In other business, the board:

Accepted the retirement of Retha Jackson as secretary to the superintendent, effective Dec. 1.

Reappointed Pamela Rabren as custodian of funds indefinitely, retroactive to June 1.

Granted medical leave under the Family Medical Leave Act to Voncille Holland, retroactive to Nov. 6 through Jan. 4, 2010.

Announced there will be a special called meeting on Tues., Dec. 8, at 6:30 p.m.