Contractor will do VHS renovations

Published 7:10 pm Wednesday, September 26, 2018

A Brandon Contractor has been awarded the bid to renovate and remodel Vicksburg High School.

Vicksburg Warren School District Trustees Tuesday awarded the project to Thrash Commercial Contractors of Brandon, which was the only bidder on the project.

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Thrash initially bid $39 million for the project, but Gary Bailey, who is managing the school renovations project for Dale Bailey Architects, the project architects, said several items in the project were changed to negotiate the cost to fall within the district’s $35 million project budget.

“It wasn’t a by chance thing,” Bailey said. “It was a lot of hard work; the contractor bent over backwards.

“There were a lot of nickel and dime things that save $10,000, $15,000, (but) we had to make some substantial changes, and one of them was changing the volume of the forum, the main space that goes through the building, without changing the front entry,” he said.

He said the forum still goes through the building, but “it’s just not as high in some places. But it does what we want it to do.”

He said the kitchen was simplified, involving the storage and freezer areas, the gym addition was redesigned “to make is simpler and not as grand as we planned.”  Student parking, he said, would remain around the school’s band hall.

Bailey also outlined the plans for the remodeling and renovation of Warren Central High School, saying the project is expected to go out for bid in March, “Because we’re well down the line on making decisions with that.”

He said work on the athletic facilities for both high schools will also go out for bid in 2019, with the work on the athletic fields being done in two phases.

The renovation and remodeling of Vicksburg High School is part of an estimated $132 million school district-wide capital improvements project to renovate and expand school facilities funded in part by an $83 million bond issue. The Vicksburg High project is the first major project under the program.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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