LAURINBURG — The Scotland County Commissioners and Board of Education are putting precautionary measures in place in the event contractors are unable to complete the additions to Sycamore Lane and Laurel Hill Elementary schools by the July 1 deadline.
Both projects are behind schedule due to weather and when school officials met with the contractors last week they were told the competition date would be closer to September.
Assistant Superintendent of Auxiliary Services Larry Johnson has repeatedly reported to the board that weather has caused delays in the project, but that contractors were working additional days to try and make up lost time.
“The weather has not been kind to us,” Johnson said. “The rain is putting a damper on things we need to get done. The contractors have remained steadfast in trying to make sure they are working extra hours. If they lose a Monday they pick it up on Saturday, which has helped us out a lot.”
The project as Sycamore Lane is 44,000 square foot and features two additions, 10 classrooms each, added to the wings of the school with a four-classroom addition being added to the middle of the building. Eighteen classrooms and a new gymnasium being constructed onto Laurel Hill, along with expanded bus lot and parent pick-up lanes.
The construction at both schools is part of Phase II of consolidation, which included closing Covington Street and North Laurinburg Elementary schools and dividing those students up and moving them into Sycamore Lane and Laurel Hill.
Covington Street would then house Scotland High School Early College, which is slated to become part of Richmond Community College’s Laurinburg campus.
SEarCH is currently housed on St. Andrews campus, but the university is looking to expand and requested Scotland County Schools find a new home for SEarCH.
Public hearings on the closure of Covington Street and North Laurinburg have yet to be scheduled and are required before the board can vote to officially close the schools.
The county commissioners went ahead and allocated $75,000 to St. Andrews so that Scotland High School Early College can remain on campus for another year — if necessary.
In August 2017, the board of education awarded the $6.85 million Sycamore Lane construction bid to WC Construction out of Winston-Salem while FBI Construction out of Florence, S.C. won the $5.99 million construction bid the classroom additions and gym at Laurel Hill.
The bids came in around $1 million under estimates the board was provided by First Tryon, the project’s financial consultants, which had estimated the cost around $14.86 million during a joint meeting with the school board and county commissioners in July 2017.
The actual price for Laurel Hill came to $160 per square foot and Sycamore Lane came to $155 per square foot.
School officials will meet with the contractors of both projects on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week and have a clearer picture of where progress stands, according to Meredith Bounds, Scotland County Schools Public Information Officer.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]