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School board talks timeline for new facilities
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Officials say work on the county’s new schools is progressing well, even if construction is still months away.
Pope Construction’s Bill Vickery, who serves as project manager for the Bryan County Board of Education, told board members last week designs for both the new Bryan County Elementary and McAllister Elementary schools are nearly done.
“It is progressing well and is exactly on schedule,” Vickery said. “This is the first project I’ve ever had that stayed exactly on the design schedule that’s put out.”
Vickery and architect Barbara Cogdell updated board members on the project’s status at the Nov. 21 BoE meeting at Bryan County High School.
Preliminary plans are about 90 percent done, they said.
The BoE sold some $23.7 million in bonds in September to fund the project, which will add a third elementary school to South Bryan while replacing Bryan County Elementary in Pembroke with a more modern, larger facility.
Bids apparently could go out in early next year if the project stays on target.
Vickery said the BoE should be able to get an idea of the maximum cost of the project — called the guaranteed maximum price, or GMP — by January.
“What we will do between now and Jan. 1 is create a budget based on the plan so that right around Christmas time we can tell you this project is going to cost x amount of dollars per square foot,” Vickery told the BoE.
“We’re not just going to throw out a GMP on April 8,” he said. “We’re going to know as a group where we’re headed.”
Vickery said plans that will be given to board members in December will include alternatives — ranging from types of light fixtures to materials for stages.
BoE Chairman Eddie Warren said the board needs time to go over the information before it makes decisions.
“We need that information put together and emailed to the board,” he said. “Then we can decide. If that number is staggering or way more than we anticipated originally, then (we) can know what the options are.”
McAllister, which will be located off Highway 144 behind the Bryan County Administrative Complex in South Bryan, is being built to accommodate 1,000 students. Bryan County Elementary will hold 600 — with room for expansion.

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