By Belinda Paschal
January 12, 2014
Happy New Year! Buccs Radio continues to expand its library as the winter sports seasons are underway. Go to www.gobuccs.com and navigate to the basketball and wrestling pages to listen to live or archived games and matches. Mike Stephan and Jeff Shields have put on an outstanding wrestling broadcast (which is as difficult as it sounds), so check it out.
The Covington-Newberry Historical Society meets tonight and the second Monday of every month, at 7 p.m. at the Village Hall on High Street. Chris Haines will be there to talk about the railroad and bike path. The public is invited to attend.
The Covington Board of Education is holding their organizational meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 5:30 p.m. The regular January session follows. The meeting is held at the board office in the Middle School on Grant Street. The meeting is open and the public is invited to attend.
Clark’s Pizza House downtown (formerly Ferrari’s) recently had its ribbon cutting, so stop by soon to check out what kinds of pies are on offer, or call them up and order delivery. My younger brother has sampled Clark’s and says, “Lots of toppings. A great value for your money and the delivery is a plus.” My sister-in-law says, “Loved the thick crust. Toppings galore!” And their 13-month-old daughter says, “Dog. Beep. Hi. Momma. Dadda.” So give Clark’s Pizza House a call today.
With the first phase of facility planning underway for the new Covington K-8 school building, I spoke with Superintendent Dave Larson on how things are going, the next steps in the process, and an upcoming opportunity for the community to check in on the progress and planning. Larson explained that phase one has included the submission of basic designs, while also saying that more specific decisions are due to be made in the future. “Things are going well, with the design on schedule,” he told me. “We submitted schematic design documents on December 20 — which is basically a bird’s-eye view. There are a lot of decisions to be made — a single story, the rooms, and the layout. Nothing gets set in stone in this phase, not until next summer when construction documents get prepared. That’s when we narrow our choices and get an overall picture.”
Further aspects of the project become clearer during the second phase. “There will be many more details,” Larson said of phase two. “That’s when we develop estimates and we see what fits in our budget. A brick building, with a certain type of roof, we have to make sure it fits the budget. With the schematic design, we are narrowing it to the two or four best options, but in phase two, we’ll get a general idea of what it will look like [inside]. We want to build something that meshes with the high school.”
Larson said that certain rules that go along with the construction of the new school detail the level of physical connection that needs to exist between old and new buildings, and he said that the planned set-up would satisfy both the state regulations and the district’s own desires in that aspect.
A community meeting is being planned to show off options and take in feedback, but an exact date hasn’t been set yet, as recent weather problems have slightly delayed, well, life in the United States, plus architectural meetings that need to take place first. “There will be a meeting later this month, or maybe in early February,” Larson told me.
“We had to reschedule a meeting with architects and our teachers at the buildings to finalize classroom layouts and locations. After that, we’ll have the community meeting to roll out possible exterior designs to get feedback.”
Unlike the way these types of building projects were carried out in the past, schools have recently begun to bid out their whole construction packages to a single general contractor, instead of multiple contractors to cover their individual tasks, and Covington will follow suit. The general contractor with the lowest responsible bid will be picked in the fall, according to Larson, and ground could be broken as early as fall 2014 or as late as spring 2015. Either way, they would remain on schedule to get students in the building by the 2016-17 school year.
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