Prep work under way at SES

Published 2:48 am Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A portion of the building at SES has been moved to a different location, readying for the planned addition.

A portion of the building at SES has been moved to a different location, readying for the planned addition.

Site prep work is under way at Straughn Elementary School for a planned new addition.

Superintendent Shannon Driver said it would be voted on at the next school board meeting, which is next week, and confirmed the site work.

Driver said that the building that previously housed the nurse would be moved from its location and placed near the playground to replace two antiquated portable storage buildings.

The system is advertising for bids and pre-qualification of contractors.

The public notice ran in Tuesday’s Andalusia Star-News.

The Covington County School Board has for months been discussing construction of an addition.

Last month, it received estimates for the facility.

Preliminary plans presented to the board included a storm shelter in the corridor of the addition or the whole building.

“The walls would be 12 inches thick,” Architect Walter McKee said. “You do not have to build it with an addition. The mandate is if you build an entirely new school.”

The corridor option could house a little more than 300 students, but the entire building could hold approximately 1,000 students, McKee said.

McKee estimated the low-side of the costs could be from $1.6 million to $1.86 million.

The building is expected to cost between $1.3 million and $1.5 million for the 9,900 square foot facility.

The small storm shelter would add between $120,000 to $160,000 to the price and the whole facility would add an additional $140,000 on top of that.

The shelter would be engineered to withstand 200 mph winds, or up to an EF5 tornado.

The school board must decide whether to fund the entire building as a shelter or just the corridor.

Potential bidders should contact McKee and Associates, the architect for the project, at in order to receive criteria to be used for the pre-qualification of the project.

Contractors have until Wed., Aug. 10, at 1 p.m., to submit pre-qualification proposals.

A sealed proposal must be received by 2 p.m., Thurs., Sept. 1, when the bids will be opened.

A certified check or bid bond in the amount of not less than 5 percent of the bid amount, but no more than $10,000 must accompany the proposal.

The project must be completed in 270 calendar days from the notice to proceed.

The building should be completed by the 2017-2018 school year and will accommodate the school’s pre-K and kindergarten classes.