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Construction begins at three Forsyth County high schools

FORSYTH COUNTY — Three Forsyth County high schools should start seeing the beginning phases of extended construction projects after the Board of Education approved bids for construction managers Thursday.

Though all five high schools have addition and renovation projects lined up, Forsyth Central and North and South Forsyth high schools are first up.

When all of these projects are complete, North will be “built out.” The school board voted as part of the state facility plan in June 2014 to raise the maximum capacity of all five schools to 2,400, so this upcoming construction will level North with Lambert and West Forsyth.

In the end, which district spokeswoman Jennifer Caracciolo said is expected to be in 2017, North will have 22 additional classrooms, a new cafeteria, another gym, traffic design and a space for its ROTC program under the gym.

South will boast 21 more classrooms, a new cafeteria and an additional gym.

Old cafeterias will be repurposed once the new ones are in use.

The board also voted to buy gravel for no more than $120,000, plus a 10 percent contingency, which will be used to create additional parking space at North and South needed during construction.

The system’s facilities and maintenance departments asked to work with four companies for the gravel projects: Simpson Trucking & Grading; Larry Evans Trucking; Jeff Hendricks Trucking; and Jim Dickman Grading & Trucking.

Caracciolo said work began last week.

A domino effect was created because portable classrooms, or trailers, must be moved to clear up space for construction sites, she said. New trailers will be put in around spring break, and full-scale construction will begin when the school year finishes in May.

Parking will be relocated once the trailers are moved, and some spaces must be added.

Caracciolo said students who paid for a spot will have one through the end of the year, though it may be in a different location. Visitors and staff spots may also be relocated, though the number is not expected to drop.

The board approved $72,311 be used to hire Balfour Beatty Construction as South’s construction manager for preconstruction services.

Barton Malow Company was approved for the same services at North. Financial impact for this contract was listed at nil.

Neither of these prices is the total project cost, as the construction manager is in charge of estimating contacts and prices for every phase of the process.

Plans for Central include 16 new classrooms and the construction of a connector between its two campuses, which will contain a new cafeteria and a media center.

A new field house will also be built, and a section of a building will be modified for a special education wing.

Central also will have its rooftop air conditioning and heating units replaced as part of the district’s Life Cycle Bond budget. That project will be partially reimbursed by the state.

Shumate Mechanical was awarded the contract for $453,730.

At Thursday’s meeting, Bill McKnight, director of facilities for the school system, said those units should not go through another winter’s heating cycle.

Funding for these projects will be taken out of the 2014 voter-approved bond referendum.