VOL. 114 | NO. 59 | Monday, March 27, 2000
County seeks bids
County seeks bids
For school projects
By LAURIE JOHNSON
The Daily News
The Shelby County Board of Education has started its search for a general contractor interested in overseeing construction of three school addition projects.
The county school system is seeking bidders for construction of additional classrooms at Bartlett Elementary School, Oak Elementary School and Tara Oaks Elementary School.
The county school system is adding the new classrooms to comply with a state law that requires Tennessee schools to decrease pupil-to-teacher ratios by August 2001, Shelby County school officials said.
The three schools are first the county is expanding to comply with the states Better Education Program, the funding formula for the Education Improvement Act of 1992. They were selected based on an evaluation of current and future needs.
"We felt like these were the most appropriate places to add permanent additions at the current time," said Richard Holden, assistant superintendent of operations for Shelby County Schools.
Each of the three schools are located in two of the countys most rapidly-expanding communities. Bartlett Elementary and Oak Elementary are both in Bartlett. Tara Oaks is in Collierville.
The goal of the project is to increase each schools capacity to 1,000 students, Holden said. The size of each addition will vary because each schools need for more space varies, he said.
Plans for the project call for adding 10 classrooms to Bartlett Elementary, 12 at Oak Elementary, and 14 at Tara Oaks Elementary.
"The reason for the varying numbers is because each school has different numbers to start with," Holden said. "Were just trying to bring them all up to the 1,000 capacity at the new lower pupil/teacher ratio."
Under current state requirements, a school with 1,000 students can serve those students with 50 classrooms, Holden said. Under the new state law, the school would have to have 60 to 64 classrooms to accommodate the same number of students.
Each of the three schools to be expanded this year already are overcrowded, Holden said.
The county school board will receive bids for construction of the three additions, which the county considers a single project, from noon to 2 p.m. April 6 in Room 202 of the Shelby County Board of Education offices at 160 S. Hollywood Street.
The county is seeking a single bid for all three additions because each project would be a relatively small one for a major contractor, Holden said. "We felt like if we put them all together, wed get a better bid," he said.
The project also includes some site and utility work, as well as minor renovations to the existing buildings.
Contract documents for the project can be examined at the offices of Jackson Bronson & Feraci Inc., the architect for the project, at 7000 Goodlett Farms Parkway; F.W. Dodge Plan Room, 5865 Ridgeway Center Parkway; Builders Exchange Plan Room, 642 S. Cooper; Memphis Area Minority Contractors Associates Inc., 555 Beale St.; and Uniform Certification Agency, 4111 W. Park Loop, Bldg. 48, University of Memphis South Campus.
Holden said the county will continue to evaluate and upgrade its school facilities each year to comply with state pupil-to-teacher requirements. Some schools will be expanded, others will receive portable buildings.
"We will analyze and make recommendations each budget year on what to do next," he said. "Our capital program will be revised each year to decide where we will add permanent additions and where we will use portables to comply."