Board Mulls Career Center Change

WINNSBORO – While the Fairfield County School District officially cut the ribbon Wednesday on their new Career and Technology Center (CTC), when the state of the art facility opens for students later this month, those making the trek from the adjacent Middle School will have to do so in the elements.

Fairfield Central High School students attending the CTC will be able to reach the facility under the shelter of a covered walkway, approximately 8- to 10-feet in height. But between the CTC and the Middle School lies a major access road for buses and other large vehicles, such as service trucks and emergency vehicles.

As Dr. J.R. Green, Superintendent, pointed out at the School Board’s June 9 meeting, the original design for the CTC did not include a covered walkway to the Middle School and the addition of one would constitute a change order that would add to the cost of the project.

“That really should not be a change order,” Board member Annie McDaniel (District 4) said during the June 9 meeting. “They (Brownstone Design, LLC and MBAJ Architecture) should have to eat that. That should have been part of what we bid out. If they failed to bid it out, that should be their problem and not ours.”

Green told McDaniel that the guaranteed maximum price of $17,710,982, approved by the Board on a 4-2 vote (McDaniel and District 2 member Paula Hartman voted against) during their May 20, 2014 meeting, was based on drawings that did not include a covered Middle School walkway. Green would, he said, ask M.B. Kahn, the project’s construction manager, to explore such an addition.

During the Board’s July 21 meeting, from which McDaniel was absent, Green reported an initial quote of $115,057 for the addition from Ventilated Awnings Corp.

Green said the quote was significantly higher than he had expected, but added that the estimated height – at least 17 feet – necessary to accommodate large vehicle traffic made the addition an expensive proposition. Furthermore, he said, with the walkway reaching that high into the air it may be money wasted.

“Unless you’re getting rain coming straight down,” Green said, “it really provides very little benefit.”

While Board member Carl Jackson (District 5) echoed McDaniel’s June 9 sentiments, calling the absence in the original design of a walkway “short-sighted,” Green said even had one been planned from the beginning, it still would have had to reach a height great enough to accommodate bus traffic.

“It really is a consequence of where (the CTC) is located,” Green said.

The Board held off on a final decision on the walkway, asking Green to explore additional quotes.

Last week, Green shared with The Voice a list of four quotes for the canopy, including a revised quote of $105,400 from Ventilated Awnings.

Peachtree Construction offered the next lowest quote, at $118,500; followed by Creative Protective Covers, at $135,500; and Mapes Construction, at $186,815.

Future Former Career Center

The Board did take action on renovations to what will soon be the former Career Center, unanimously approving a $1,669,500 bid by Weber Construction Co. Weber’s bid was the lowest of five offers that included Pyramid Contracting ($1,770,500), FBI Construction ($1,790,000), Metcon Commercial Construction ($1,838,250), and Southern Builders of York County ($1,847,000).

Weber’s bid includes $32,500 for the replacement of the electrical system and $92,000 for the replacement of the lighting system for the entire facility.

Once renovated, the facility will house the District’s alternative school, Gordon Odyssey Academy, as well as the Transportation and Maintenance departments.


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