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Dougherty High project approved

ALBANY, Ga. -- It's official. The Dougherty County Board of Education gave bid award approval on Monday for two construction projects, one of which is going to the contractor selected to construct the Dougherty High School Center of Excellence.

The Dougherty County School System staff is expected to send out a notice of intent to award today to Kinney Construction in Leesburg.

When the construction budget was established in 2009, officials were expecting the cost for the Dougherty High project to be $6.8 million. By Monday, the total contract amount had come out to $9.1 million.

At the board's Building and Grounds committee meeting on April 29, Bob Fowler, assistant director of facilities and capital for the school system, stated that the rise came from an increase in petroleum costs -- which in turn drove up the per-square-foot cost for the project.

While the cost increase was a surprise to the board, the overall opinion was that moving forward with the projects was what was best for the system -- as reflected by a statement that board member David Maschke asked to have included in the meeting's minutes.

"We are investing in these schools because we think it is necessary," he said.

The other project on the table was a re-roofing for Dougherty Middle School. The board approved a bid award to Anderson Roofing Co. in Albany for the amount of $721,228.

A notice of intent to award is also expected to go out to Anderson today. The substantial completion for the project is expected in October.

The substantial completion for the Dougherty High project is targeted for January 2013.

Also on the board's agenda was a charter renewal application for Dougherty Middle and Dougherty High. The item was tabled after board member Darrel Ealum addressed concerns about the documentation.

One item he noted was within the application for Dougherty Middle in the section that outlines waivers. The statement he highlighted read: "... Dougherty International Education Middle School shall be exempt in whole from all local Board of Education and state Board of Education rules, policies, regulations and procedures and from provisions of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated other than the Charter Schools Act of 1998."

That was a section he was adamant about re-visiting.

"I think it's wrong," he said.

Also in the application is a section regarding the establishment of a governance board, which Ealum also took issue with -- specifically, how it is to be handled and who appoints the members.

In light of this, Ealum made a motion to table the item until further revisions could be made. Board member Milton Griffin seconded the motion, which was approved unanimously.