• 54°

Construction costs for western elementary school OK’d by Rowan commissioners

By Josh Bergeron

josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — A bit over budget, construction of a consolidated elementary school in western Rowan County will proceed as planned after receiving support from the county commissioners Monday.

Initially, the county had agreed to provide $27.5 million to pay for the new school, which will consolidate students from schools in Woodleaf and Cleveland. But the cost — agreed to in 2014 — has ballooned to $27.83 million.

Earlier in June, Rowan-Salisbury school board Chairman Josh Wagner said cost overages could come out of the school system’s fund balance, which acts as a savings account.

Cost, however, was not the most discussed topic when the county commissioners discussed the school on Monday. In fact, commissioners Chairman Greg Edds said the increased cost is understandable.

“We always fantasize about projects coming in under budget, but three years later in an improving economy we’re seeing our own projects skyrocket,” Edds said.

To be within 1 percent of the initial amount agreed to by county commissioners is OK, Edds said.

Assistant Superintendent Anthony Vann said it’s tough to find contractors in certain trades currently because many of them are busy on other projects.

The most discussed part of the new school were construction contingencies that have been included in the cost. The guaranteed maximum price from Barnhill Contracting Co. included two contingencies — $1.14 million for the school system and $207,846 for the contractor.

County Manager Aaron Church said there is nothing wrong with the proposed costs for the western elementary school, but it is different from how county government handles its contracts.

Commissioners and county staff asked detailed questions about construction contingencies, including what might happen if that money is not spent.

Edds said any leftover money should be used to pay off the $27.5 million, which will likely be in the form of a bank loan. Vann said it’s possible the school board might want to use the contingency money, if any remains near the end of the project, to pay for additions or upgrades to the new school. He said classrooms would be one addition the school board might want to add, if money allows.

After roughly 20 minutes of conversation, the county commissioners unanimously approved the construction costs.

The new western Rowan County school is slated to be built near at the current site of Cleveland Elementary School.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

Comments

Business

With remote expansion, outsource provider FCR looks to become an ‘exceptional part’ of Rowan community

Local

City expects $1.5 million surplus in current budget, ability to raise some wages for police, public works

Education

Enochville Elementary to host farewell event May 1

High School

High school softball: Carson beats West in a wild one

College

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson will speak at NC State graduation

High School

Wonders, Trojans facing off Monday on Cannon Ballers’ field

Local

City approves two apartment developments, more than 160 new units

Nation/World

Crowds react with joy, wariness to verdict in Floyd’s death

News

Bill seeks to end pistol purchase permits from NC sheriffs

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees 300th death attributed to COVID-19

News

Chauvin convicted on all counts in George Floyd’s death

Local

Top North Carolina House finance chair, Rowan representative stripped of position

Crime

One charged, another hospitalized in fight between cousins

Local

Bell Tower Green renamed to honor Stanbacks; Nancy Stanback receives key to city

Business

Commissioners green light additional houses at Cherry Treesort in China Grove

Education

A.L. Brown will hold in-person, outdoor graduation

Local

Granite Quarry awards FEMA contract for Granite Lake Park

Local

City to vote on apartment developments, final phases of Grants Creek Greenway project

High School

High school football: North receiver McArthur a rising star

Columnists

Carl Blankenship: Pollen and prejudice make their return

News

Harris pitches $2.3T spending plan on trip to North Carolina

Nation/World

Murder case against ex-cop in Floyd’s death goes to the jury

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Man takes deputies on chase with stolen moped

Coronavirus

Afternoon, evening COVID-19 vaccination clinic planned Thursday