Construction and paving will be starting soon at Richmond Hill Primary School now that the Board of Education has approved bids for two new capital projects.
The board approved bids for a new bus drive and transportation facility, additional parking, paving and the re-roofing of RHPS during a called meeting Monday.
The projects are set to be completed before the start of next school year and will hopefully alleviate some of the traffic in the daily car lines on Frances Meeks Way.
"The new bus road is part of the master plan to re-do traffic once the replacement Richmond Hill Elementary School is complete. It will get the bus traffic behind RHPS," Superintendent Dr. Sallie Brewer said. "The road is 30 feet wide and will therefore allow two rows of buses. The paving being done in front of Carver/replacement RHES is also part of the master plan to keep traffic off city streets."
The transportation project was awarded to Southeastern Civil in Savannah for $798,000 and roofing was awarded to Southern Roof and Wood Care Corp. in Hilton Head for $275,000.
According to capital project budget, the district currently has $300,000 set aside for the RHPS road and transportation paving and $200,000 for the re-roofing project.
Financial Advisor Melanie James said the original estimate for the transportation project did not include some of the additional paving plans that are part of this bid, which is the main reason why the bid exceeds the estimate.
"Also, according to our architect, if we had bid just one more week later, we could have seen a 15 percent increase in the bid amount because of the rising cost of petroleum," James said. "It is important to remember that the capital outlay update is a projection for both revenues and expenses. It will be continually updated based on the performance of the economy and the needs of the system."
In regard to the roofing bit, James said that when the school district’s architectural firm, James Buckley and Associates, put together the bid specifications, "it was determined that there should have been two layers of materials on the original roof, but there was only one layer; therefore, additional work was required on this project."
Board member Jeff Morton expressed concern that the newly paved areas at RHPS might infringe on the soccer fields, which are used during summer for practice. Brewer said it should not have any negative impact on the fields.