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Construction coming to four Forsyth County middle schools

FORSYTH COUNTY — Architectural contracts for work at four Forsyth County middle schools were approved Thursday, adding to the list of construction projects that includes more than half of the district’s 35 public schools.

The work is part of the school system’s ongoing effort to keep up with growth. As of September, enrollment in the district was about 44,200 students.

James W. Buckley & Associates will handle the design and constructions documents for additions and modifications projects at Liberty, North Forsyth, Otwell and Vickery Creek.

Liberty and North Forsyth are each slated to get a new band room. Liberty is also expected to have a stage built in the cafeteria, while North Forsyth will see the addition of a media center.

The contract for the two schools allots the architect $83,467, with miscellaneous expenses not to exceed $50,000, according to a memo to the Forsyth County Board of Education prepared by Bill McKnight, chief facilities officer for the school district.

In a separate contract, Vickery Creek and Otwell will receive new engineering labs. Vickery Creek will also get a new media center similar to North’s, while Otwell will see modifications to its band room or the addition of a choral room.

The second contract was approved for $122,028 and up to $50,000 in miscellaneous expenses.

The facilities department within the school system has been busy this year.

Four of the district’s five high schools have construction projects under way, with the fifth (West Forsyth) on the radar. In addition, several elementary schools are also getting additions and/or modifications.

This also comes during the construction of new elementary (Brandywine), middle (DeSana) and high (Denmark) schools.

Also approved in a 5-0 vote by the school board at its monthly meeting Thursday, the architectural contract for the Alliance Academy for Innovation of Cumming-Forsyth County went to Manley Spangler Smith Architects.

The new charter high school, if proper funding is approved, represents an agreement between the Cumming and Forsyth County governments and the school system that will bring to the district a college and career academy focused on preparation and qualification for high-demand, high-wage jobs.

The city has previously confirmed that the school site will be on Pilgrim Mill Road, near Lanier 400 Parkway, which is being extended from Pirkle Ferry Road.

Contracted services for design and construction documents were approved a base rate of 5.25 percent of the cost of construction — about $1.7 million — with miscellaneous expenses not to exceed $25,000.

Plans call for the school, which would have about 1,000 students, to open by the 2018-19 school year.