Panel OKs change orders for schools

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- Change order proposal updates of $44,001.49 at Westover Comprehensive High and $74,016 at Albany High were recommended through a 3-0 vote by the Dougherty County Board of Education's Building & Grounds Committee in a meeting Friday morning.

The committee, made up of board members James Bush, Michael Windom and David Maschke, also learned that Dougherty Comprehensive High School and Magnolia, Sylvester Road and Northside elementary schools will move to the top of the renovation list as part of district's five-year facility plan.

The 2012-17 facility plan must be completed by next March, DCSS Executive Director of Operations and Business Services Robert Lloyd said. The plan will report on the state of the school system's rooms, equipment, etc., and must be approved the the Dougherty County School Board and the Georgia Department of Education before it can be implemented.

The first renovation phases of Westover, Albany High, Lake Park and Turner elementary schools were part of the 2007-12 five-year plan.

"We've accomplished a lot of our renovations that we've wanted to do in the last five years," said Bob Fowler, assistant director of facilities and capital projects.

In the upcoming five-year plan, Maschke said it would be nice to address all concerns at each school early on, rather than having to come back and fix fencing, playground or security concerns later. During this detailed check, Lloyd thought it would help to also address heating, ventilation and air-conditioning problems at some of the schools, particularly in the kitchen areas.

"Because of the heat this summer, it's really brought it home," Lloyd said.

Fowler said that 14 schools in the district currently don't have air conditioning in the kitchen area. Magnolia, Sylvester Road, Northside, Alice Coachman, International Studies Charter, Martin Luther King Jr., Lamar Reese and Morningside elementary schools, Merry Acres, Southside and Dougherty middle schools, and Albany High, Dougherty, Westover high schools all lack air conditioning in their kitchen units.

Superintendent Joshua Murfree said that space at Albany Early College may also soon need addressing as the the program has the first two floors occupied with students in seventh through ninth grade. It was expected that the college would expand to the third story of the building when the program reached its fourth year, which is next fall. Albany State University staff offices currently occupy the third floor.

Each year a grade will be added until Albany Early College's enrollment reaches seventh through 12th grade.

"There's only so much room," Murfree said.