Groundbreaking set for new facility

Published 1:08 am Saturday, August 13, 2011

An architect’s rendering of the new 30,000 SF indoor physical education facility planned at AHS.| Courtesy graphic

After more than a year of preparation, work on a more than $2 million physical education facility at Andalusia High School will begin in the coming weeks.

Andalusia City Schools Superintendent Ted Watson said Friday that a groundbreaking ceremony is set for Aug. 22 for the new facility.

“We received word (Thursday) that the state building commission approved our plans,” he said.

Last month, the board of education awarded the project bid to low bidder Bay Shore Construction of Bay Minette for $2.308 million. The company will have 365 days to complete the project.

Plans for the new facility, which have been developed by Architect Joe Donofro, include a new 26,174-square foot physical education facility, a new 6,818-square foot boys’ PE facility, renovations to a 5,949-square foot girls’ PE facility, renovations to the 630-square foot shop building and miscellaneous site work on the AHS campus.

Watson said exact details for the groundbreaking are still in progress, and will include a number of other festivities.

Watson said the administrators and the board are excited about this step.

“Anytime you’re able to add to your facilities, it’s a great step,” he said. “We’ll just marry the facility into our future plans.”

The board was notified nearly a year ago that it would receive $2.5 million in Qualified School Construction Bonds for the project, and the Andalusia Bulldog Foundation agreed to give the board $8,000 to pay closing costs for the project, as well as bridge any loans necessary until the school board pays off its debt for Andalusia Elementary School.

The project is the brainchild of 11 men who are members of the Bulldog Foundation, and who committed personal resources to see that its construction came to fruition. They include Lex Short, John Jones, Paul Rogers, Earl Johnson, Lucky Cope, David Darby, Alan Williamson, Eddie Williamson, Tim Bryan, Bob Burkhardt and Ben Bowden.