Super: Two-story plans for AMS in hand

Published 1:54 am Friday, July 27, 2012

The plans for the new wings at Andalusia elementary and high schools are in hand, and now, it’s coming down to the wire for the Andalusia School Board to choose an architectural firm to design the new facilities.

Earlier this month, the board challenged each of the four firms to submit drawings for a two-story middle school facility to be built on the campus of AHS after public support arose for a design submitted by Goodwin, Mills & Cawood. Since then, firms McKee & Associates; Godwin-Jones; and Donofro and Associates have followed suit and the plans are now in hand, Superintendent Ted Watson said Thursday.

“I know it seems like it has taken a long time – too long, but what we hope people understand is this is a decision that will affect students for the next 100 years, and we want something everyone can be proud of from this day forward.”

Watson said cost estimates for the two buildings combined range from $4 million to $5 million.

Currently, Watson and board members are working to determine which plan meets the needs of teachers at the elementary and middle school level, he said.

“We have the four renderings of what the four firms would build, based on what they can build and the cost,” he said. “Now, we’re trying to determine who would give us the best and most for the money.

“We feel like we know exactly how many rooms we need, what we need to have to make lunch ways works and how to make everything work,” he said. “Now we’re trying to take that information and apply it to the designs presented by these firms.”

Watson said if board members pick an architect soon, the plans can be drawn by November.

“That means we can it bid by the first of the year, and have the buildings completed between February and April,” he said. “That’s important because then we don’t have to have teachers rushing to move in,” he said. “We want it to be a comfortable move, and definitely not as stressful as the first elementary school move.”

Watson said, “I really tip my hat to the board for being very thorough for looking at all options on the table.”