Board to pay $250,000 for junior high elevator

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 30, 2000

Warren Central Junior High will get a $250,000 elevator system, school board members decided Tuesday.

“The board is not against the elevator,” board President Zelmarine Murphy said at the meeting. “It is the cost of construction that concerned us.”

Vicksburg Warren County School District trustees had held up on awarding the contract because the bid from Coleman Hammons Construction of Jackson opened July 27 was $100,000 more than their architect’s estimate.

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The elevator is needed for one student in a motorized wheelchair now and others coming up through the system.

The 35-year-old building, built as Lucy Jefferson Junior High, is tiered onto three levels on the side of a hill on Baldwin Ferry Road. An existing system has allowed former students in wheelchairs to move freely among the levels, but that stair-climbing system will not accommodate motorized chairs.

The district’s newer schools have been designed without barriers to students, regardless of disability.

Of the three bids received by the school district, Coleman Hammons submitted the lowest and board members had pondered readvertising.

Architect Bill Tompkins explained that the cost came as much of a surprise to him as it did to board members. The difference in the actual cost and the estimate are mostly attributed to the price of the actual elevator, he said, so readvertising would likely not change any bid significantly.

“I’m not going to be happy doing this,” board member Chad Barrett said. “But I’m not going to be happy not doing it.”

Construction on the elevator is expected to begin in about 60 days and be completed in January.

Until then, the student will continue to be driven by van from one level to the next.