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College, career buildings get back on track

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By Thomas Barr

 SHEPHERDSVILLE – Construction work was one of the topics under discussion by the Bullitt County Public School Board during its first monthly work sessions.

But some of the discussion dated back a couple of years.

While the future College and Career Centers at the three high schools was the center of attention, problems with floor tiles at Cedar Grove Elementary crept into the discussion.

Joe Sandman, with Clotfelter-Samokar, said issues involving work done at Cedar Grove Elementary were being addressed.

Sandman said the firm itself had addressed some of the issues.

There are also other items involving the general contractor that still must be settled, said Sandman.

The biggest concern is the tile flooring. To replace the tiles, which are not sticking to the surface, it would cost about $300,000, according to superintendent Keith Davis.

There is still $40,000 retained from the contract on the general contractor but that is not enough to pay for the replacement work.

Board member Roger Hayes asked if performance contracts would help prevent a repeat in future projects.

Board attorney Eric Farris said the state sets out how to deal with construction projects. There is a schedule of payments based on the percentage of work done.

He said there is nothing to stop the district from requiring performance bonds in the future.

The problem with the Cedar Grove project is that the issue with the tiles didn’t surface until work was done and much of the money had been paid out.

Sandman said discussions are still being held to get the situation settled.

In the meantime, Russ McFarland said plans are nearly complete for the College and Career Centers at North Bullitt and Bullitt East.

He hoped to have the plans ready and bids solicited in mid-March. If everything went well, the two centers could be ready by the fall of 2014.

Each would include three classrooms and three labs, with flexible walls to allow for various space sizes. Also, each would have a full-size gym with seating for about 200 for ball games.

The project has been scaled back cosmetically as the bid for the North Bullitt facility far exceeded the budget of $5-$5.5 million.

The Bullitt Central facility is a little further behind due to other renovations in the school.

The current cafeteria would be remodeled into the media center with the new lunchroom in another portion of the building.

McFarland hoped to be out for bids in mid-May on Bullitt Central but completion will not be done until December 2014 due to the other renovations.

The Bullitt Central career center will be on the west side of the building where the tennis courts are currently located.

North Bullitt would also lose its tennis courts while Bullitt East will be between the tennis courts and baseball field.

Hayes inquired what the rooms would be used for during the school day at each facility.

Davis said the school would be in charge of that. He’s heard of computer labs being installed and Bullitt East was looking at some pre-engineering classes. 

The schools have always talked about the need for more gym space, either for classes or for after-school practices. This could include athletic groups or even extra-curricular organizations, such as JROTC.

At night, he could see Jefferson Community and Technical College offering classes. That is one reason the buildings will each have separate outside entrances.

The future of the centers will be determined by the bids. Davis said the district couldn’t afford to go over budget on any of the facilities.