The Clover school board Friday awarded $48.4 million in contracts for the construction of a new elementary and middle school, both to open in 2016.
The board approved a $29.7 million contract for the construction of a new middle school in the Clover area to Beam Construction Co. of Cherryville, N.C. The school would be located on 125 acres on Barrett Road.
It also approved $18.7 million for Clancy & Theys Construction, which has an office in Charlotte, to build a new elementary school on Oakridge Road in Lake Wylie. The school would be on 35 acres, across from Oakridge Middle.
The two schools are part of a $99 million construction plan that includes five major projects, undertaken by the district after voters’ March approval of a $67 million bond package. The district is making a $32 million down payment on the construction.
Superintendent Marc Sosne said the elementary school contract approved by the board includes the option to add six classsrooms, increasing the capacity of the school to 900 students, up from 750.
“It gives us more room to grow in the Lake Wylie area, which is where students are moving,” Sosne said. “The money was there, so the school board decided to go to 900 instead of 750 students.”
Board member Franklin Pendleton said the board made similar choices to opt for larger schools in the construction of Larne Elementary and Oakridge Middle schools.
Pendleton also noted that construction plans call for a track at the new Lake Wylie elementary school, which was not available at adjacent Oakridge Middle because there wasn’t enough room.
Sosne said the approval of the two school construction contracts puts the district “right on target” in its budget.
He said construction costs for the schools came in at around $157 a square foot, which was about what the district was advised to expect from its construction manager, Cummings Construction.
“Right now, on these two projects, we’re a little bit under what we budgeted,” Sosne said. He said the elementary school is about $500,000 under budget and the middle school is about $3 million under budget.
Sosne said under the terms of the bond, the district has the flexibility to take on some other construction projects if it has money left over after the five major projects are complete.
Ken Love, assistant superintendent for business services, said the district has spent about $2.8 million so far on grading and architectural services for the elementary school.
He said it has spent about $3.5 million on grading and architectural services for the middle school.
Love said remaining costs necessary to open the new schools will include furniture, fixtures, technology and other equipment.
The board last month approved a $3.1 million contract for renovations to Memorial Stadium to Pineville, N.C.-based Randolph and Son Builders. Artificial turf has already been placed on the athletic fields at Clover High and Clover Middle schools and is to be placed on the Memorial Stadium field during the renovation.
Love said the district has about $32 million remaining of the $99 million it budgeted. Some of that money will need to be used for expenses to open the two new schools.
Bids have not yet been awarded for two of the five projects included in the construction plan.
One of those projects is a ninth-grade academy for Clover High School in present Clover Middle. The renovation costs were budgeted at $10 million and the new academy is to be open in 2017.
The second project is an aquatics and fitness center on S.C. 274 north of Crowders Creek Elementary School, to be operated in partnership with the Upper Palmetto YMCA. The cost of project was estimated at $14 million and it is scheduled to open in the spring of 2016.