Starkville Daily News - - FO­RUM -

SD Board of Trustees, JH&H ar­chi­tect Bruce Wood said the cost would likely rise due to many con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als ei­ther be­ing made with petroleum or made along the Texas Gulf Coast, where Har­vey made land­fall as a Cat­e­gory 4 storm in late Au­gust.

Wood said many con­struc­tion la­bor­ers had also gone to Texas due to lu­cra­tive op­por­tu­ni­ties in the rebuilding ef­forts.

“The ma­jor­ity of PVC pip­ing is made in Hous­ton, Texas, and those plants went un­der­wa­ter, so there was a shut­down in pro­duc­tion,” Wood said. “I think they’re back up and run­ning, but that im­pacted the price. There’s sev­eral things here that have in­creased: the doors, the in­su­la­tion, the roof­ing ma­te­ri­als, for­eign prod­ucts, any­thing with petroleum in it.”

Wood said as of the most re­cent es­ti­mate, Har­vey had amounted to a 6.9 per­cent in­crease to the pro­ject’s an­tic­i­pated

$27.5 mil­lion price tag. He said the in­crease could be par­tially de­ferred by hold­ing off on adding com­po­nents the school could be oc­cu­pied with­out, in­clud­ing se­cu­rity tapes, gym bleach­ers and land­scap­ing com­po­nents and a trel­lis in the cafe­te­ria court­yard.

Wood also said there was still time for the prices to go down.

“It re­ally de­pends on how each bid­der po­si­tions him­self with those prices,” Wood said.

School Board Pres­i­dent

Keith Coble said he wasn’t too con­cerned about the in­crease, due to the dis­trict be­ing in sound fi­nan­cial shape.

“It is prob­a­bly un­der­stand­able that the con­struc­tion busi­ness goes up and down,” Coble said. “I think it is rea­son­able for him to tell us that we’re likely to have to pay more than we orig­i­nally pro­jected be­cause of the storms. We can al­ways hope that com­pe­ti­tion is go­ing to come to a low bid­der that will come in un­der that es­ti­mate, but if not

then we’re just go­ing to have to look at our var­i­ous sources of fund­ing and see how we move for­ward.”

Ad­ver­tis­ing for bids on the pro­ject be­gan Tues­day, with bids to be opened Nov. 9.

“It’s not the eas­i­est thing in the world to pre­dict what those are go­ing to turn out to be,” Coble said. Hope­fully, they don’t all come in high.”

Wood said dirt work on the pro­ject re­mained on sched­ule.

The Part­ner­ship School is sched­uled for a fall 2019

com­ple­tion. Once complete, the school will house the dis­trict’s sixth and sev­enth grade stu­dents and serve as a lab­o­ra­tory for the Mis­sis­sippi State Uni­ver­sity Col­lege of Ed­u­ca­tion. The pro­ject is funded by the dis­trict, MSU and the state of Mis­sis­sippi.

The dis­trict also re­ported a fund bal­ance of $7,832,244.36, 18.04 per­cent of dis­trict main­te­nance rev­enues, and 8 per­cent in­crease from last year. Dis­trict pol­icy re­quires at least 8 per­cent.

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