County school board members during their monthly business session approved Southern A&E of Austell for architectural services for the new Cloverleaf and Emerson elementaries, while Chapman, Griffin, Lanier and Sussenbach Architects of Atlanta got the go-ahead to design a new Adairsville Middle School. The firms will perform their work at a cost not to exceed 5 percent of the respective projects' total price tags; Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds will cover the expenses.
Officials say the elementary schools will be similar in design to Pine Log Elementary, the most recent elementary school built in the district. Harper last week said the design of the new Adairsville Middle will be similar to Woodland Middle School at Euharlee, with each grade given its own wing and a central hallway connecting the wings.
Board members also approved district officials' recommendation for NOVA Engineering to provide an environmental study and risk/hazard analysis with modeling and geotechnical evaluation for the new Cloverleaf and Emerson elementary school sites. The prices for work on the two sites would be $31,000 for Emerson and not to exceed $25,000 for Cloverleaf, with SPLOST funds covering those costs as well.
Cloverleaf is expected to be the first facility built of the three planned replacement schools, and officials hope to start turning dirt on its construction in February or March. But before then, the district will be opening its newest school -- the new Cass High, which will replace the current school of the same name.
Rick Little, director of Construction and Planning, told the board during Monday's meeting that Cass' construction remains on pace for the building to be turned over to the district by Oct. 29, the project's substantial completion date. He said most exterior areas of the school are getting close to completion, as are most areas inside.
"We're doing punch lists in the building. About all we have left to do is the gym, the auxiliary gym and the lower level around the weight room area," Little said. "It's nearing completion, we're very excited, and it's going to be a great school."
Furniture and equipment for the new school are slated to be delivered starting in early November. Before the school opens for students on Jan. 4, the district will hold in the new building an open house and dedication ceremony, which is set for Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.
Board members following Monday's meeting are set to submit paperwork to the Georgia School Boards Association as they seek to become a "Board of Distinction." The board has already been recognized for being in compliance with the GSBA's Standards for Local Boards of Education, but the Board of Distinction recognition is a higher honor; board members during the meeting voted to move forward on the application process.
According to GSBA's website, a district that is in compliance with the Standards meets guidelines in the areas of vision/philosophy/goals, systematic improvement, organizational structure, policy development, board meetings, personnel, financial management and board/staff/community relations. A Board of Distinction meets the Standards but also is required to assess itself much like board members assess their superintendent. The board also has to have a strategic plan or set of annual goals, post its monthly meeting agendas online and meet other standards.
If GSBA officials approve Bartow's Board of Distinction paperwork, the district likely would be recognized for the honor in December.