VWSD sends out bids for facilities plan

Published 7:18 pm Friday, June 15, 2018

The first bids for work under the Vicksburg Warren School District’s facilities plan have gone out and work should be starting in the next couple months.

The bids for roof work at Beechwood Elementary School and Warren Central High School are scheduled to be received June 28 and bids for work on Vicksburg Junior and Vicksburg High schools are scheduled to be opened July 3.

Gary Bailey, who is managing the project for Dale Bailey Architects, said they have used drones and other methods to survey the roofs to prepare for those bids and the other roofing projects throughout the district. During that process, they have found some areas they originally thought needed to be reroofed that won’t require work, but they have also found areas they originally didn’t realize would need work done, Bailey said.

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In all, they are projecting that there will be an additional $980,000 worth of reroofing that will be required.

“Because the fact the roofs are going so fast, we have had people all over the roofs,” Bailey said. “We had a pre-bid conference on the first two roofs that bid June 28. The end of this month, we will be receiving bids on the first two roof projects. Massive interest. There were over 10 roofers there interested in those two projects. That is good. We need that competition.”

The additional roofing needs are part of an additional $7.3 million worth of projects that weren’t included in the original budget, but have been deemed necessary, as they have gotten into the details, Bailey said.

Speaking during the VWSD Board of Trustees’ meeting Thursday, Bailey presented the need for the additional projects, which he said could be covered through already planned funding sources and without any additional burden to tax payers.

“We think there is funding to deal with that without adding any additional taxes whatsoever,” Bailey said. “What you have already committed to as funding sources will pay for that additional $7.3 million. You’ve got the money to do that within the commitments you have already given without any more taxes.”

Other than the additional roofing projects, the $7.3 million will also cover the construction of two additional classrooms at South Park Elementary, the installation of sprinkler systems at the two high schools, which Bailey said will enable them to be more open, and gym expansions at the two high schools.

“Another issue that wasn’t in the original scope was two classrooms at South Park,” Bailey said. “That was kind of a bubble thing. They have some temporary classrooms there and their number calculations didn’t necessarily justify needing two new classrooms. In further looking at that, we are recommending that you do two classrooms at that school.”

The largest portion of that money will go toward the gym expansions, which will cost a projected $5 million. Bailey originally presented the idea of the gym expansions in May when the designs for the schools were unveiled, and at that time he mentioned the need to determine if they could be fit inside the budget.

To enable the design processes to move forward, Thursday Bailey asked the board to make a final decision on whether to move forward with the gym expansions and other additional projects, and the Board of Trustees unanimously voted in favor of continuing in that direction.

“We think we have some ways to do that as far as opportunities within what you already committed to that you can get enough dollars to do that,” Bailey said of the gym expansions. “They need to be done. I think they are critical to the project. They just weren’t in the original bond issue.”

Bailey said they also recently had a very productive meeting with the city of Vicksburg’s building inspector and were able to come to an agreement to avoid a change in permitting that would have added millions of dollars worth of projects to the budget.

“You are currently under the 2012 building codes, and the city is looking at upgrading to the 2015 building codes,” Bailey said. “That is huge ramifications to you, because if they had made us use the 2015 codes, we would have had to put shelters in every major project we do. Millions and millions of dollars. They were cooperative enough to say since we have started already, that we stay under 2012.”