New Richard Carroll Elementary School nears completion
Written by Jerry E. Halmon   

The new Richard Carroll Elementary School located on Highway 301 north of Bamberg is well on its way to completion, Dale Collier of Brownstone Construction Group told members of the District One School Board, at their May meeting, Monday night at the Bamberg-Ehrhardt Middle School. Collier noted that in light of the progress made to date, an Office of School Facilities (OSF) Final Occupancy Approval Inspection has been scheduled for June 7, at the jobsite. Finished ceiling tiles have been installed throughout the school building. The installation of floor covering in classrooms and corridors as well as wall and base cabinets are well underway. HVAC contractors are also near complete with their work that included the successful startup of these systems.

“June is a very big month,” Collier said, adding that he was very confident about where construction is at this point at the new school. Collier said that at the Bamberg-Ehrhardt Middle School any additional work is scheduled to be done this summer when students have been dismissed. Work to be done will concentrate in the cafeteria and kitchen space. Flooring will be removed and replaced in the Cafeteria area while the kitchen will be renovated to incorporate a new serving line along with a new lay-in ceiling as mandated by DHEC. An OSF Final Occupancy Approval Inspection has been scheduled for August 9, 2012.

Collier noted the construction company has embarked on the “most crucial” portion of the ongoing work at Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School. Interior renovation work has already begun in several areas now that students have been dismissed for the summer. Contractors will begin “major renovations” in the remaining areas of the school to include the Gym, Media Center, Band Room and other spaces. HVAC systems throughout the building will also be completely replaced during the execution of this work. The OSF Final Occupancy Approval Inspection for the high school has been scheduled for August 9, 2012.

Also during the meeting in a matter related to the building and renovation projects in the district:

Trustee Board members approved the transfer of funds from the contingency funds at the new Richard Carroll Elementary School to cover the cost overruns of some additional projects approved at the middle and high schools. The additional projections to be done in the district were originally estimated to cost $109,000. After making adjustments with the contractor, the new total came to $165,000. It was noted that $51,000 in contingency funds at RCES will not be used and could be used to cover the shortfall.

“We feel comfortable we can cover this overage with the project funds and transfer funds from the construction project to the renovation project,” Collier said, noting that cost overruns for a project of this nature are not unusual.

Also during the meeting:

• Trustee Board members approved the deeding of .15 acres of land to the Board of Public Works for a lift station and approved the granting of a 30-foot easement for the BPW to have access to district property. It was noted that the BPW will pay the cost involved.

• Trustees received as information a report from Federal Programs Coordinator Phyllis Overstreet and approved the authorization of Superintendent Phyllis Schwarting to be the District’s Authorized Representative.

• In the district financial report, it was noted the District was “ok percentage wise” with the District being at approximately 20 percent of budget, with 17 percent being ideal at this time of year. It was noted that unemployment insurance (that all comes back to the district) was up. Temporary salaries were over spent, with the District having to hire a number of “Shadows” and a custodian. Data processing and the new phone system at the new elementary school were also noted as contributing to cost overruns.