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New high school design

High school plans proceed

By Michael Butler

New high school plans at Tallassee are moving forward. Last week, the school had a pre-bid meeting. School board member Rex Ledbetter serves on the building committee.

"A lot of people have the impression that this is something that happened overnight, but we've been working on it predominately for at least six years," Ledbetter said. "We've accessed all of the wants and needs and where we are financially. We've comprised all of that data. There's a whole lot that goes into this outside of your monthly board meetings."

As for the bids, interim superintendent Brock Nolin said that $17.5 million is alloted for the project.

"If the bid comes in where we expect, we're moving forward," Nolin said. "Our budget number is the $17.5 million. The project costs more than that. The city passed that sales tax and cut a check to us for $900,000. We get about $38,000 per month off of that sales tax. That'll be utilized. Initially we'll use the $16.5 million that we sold the bonds on. There's a state bond issue where we should get about $2.4 million. That's going to be rolled in."

Nolin added that bid openings will be on Sept. 24 at 2 p.m.

"It's the lowest, responsible bidder. If you have a low bid and someone that has a proven record of not completing projects, you don't have to take that bid. Generally it is the lowest bidder."

Groundbreaking could begin as soon as November, according to Nolin.

"This is the community's project, not our project," said Ledbetter. "We have a very good bottom line budget. You're looking at the largest reserve of monies we've ever had. That's saying a lot. Any of our capital expenditures moving forward have been set aside on an average of what we've been spending in the past. We should be able to operate normally. If we don't utilize those funds, we should be able to take those monies and build our bottom line."

Ledbetter (left) and Nolin on the "Wake-Up Call" on WTLS