CAROLINE CROSSROADS Free Lance-Star reporter Robyn Sidersky covers Caroline County government and schools. You can reach her at 540/374-5413 or You can follow coverage on Facebook or Twitter as well.
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School board to review new bids for BGP renovation

The Caroline County School Board will meet Monday night to review nine new bids that came in to renovate Bowling Green Primary School.

Superintendent Greg Killough said the lowest bid came in at $10.187 million by Richmond firm Loughridge & Co.

Killough said school officials “still got work to do” because that bid is still above the $10 million limit for the project.

The project will combine students from the pre-kindergarten through second-grade Bowling Green Primary School and students from the third-grade through fifth-grade Bowling Green Elementary Schools into a substantially expanded and renovated pre-K through fifth-grade school on the Bowling Green Primary School campus, which is behind the Community Services Center just south of Bowling Green.

“Features for the expanded and renovated facility will include new student classrooms, new student restrooms, a new secure school entrance, new bus canopy, new cafeteria and kitchen, expanded and renovated media center, additional computer labs and a relocated and expanded administration and guidance area,” said Randy Jones, who has been the architectural consultant for the project.

Killough said of the nine bids that were submitted Tuesday, four of them were within $100,000 of the lowest bid. Gulf Seaboard bid $10.219 million and A.D. Whittaker of Ashland bid $10.280 million. The highest bid was $11.9 million.

On Jan. 30, the school board voted to withdraw from a $10.3 million agreement it had with Whittaker during the first round of bids.

The decision to re-bid was based on a recommendation by Killough, whose goal was to refine the renovation and accept a bid that would fit within the $10.5 million budget–the $0.5 million would go toward the architectural firm’s fee.

Had the bids come in below $10 million, Jones said they could have solicited alternate bids to add a new gymnasium and two additional classrooms.

If a vote is made Monday night, construction could begin as early as April with a completion date scheduled for mid-July 2013.

In January, the Caroline Board of Supervisors voted 4-2 to add $1.5 million to the $9 million that was already allocated, bringing the total funds available for the project to $10. 5 million.

In addition to the $1.5 million, the supervisors borrowed $3 million last year–adding about 2 cents to the real-estate tax rate for the next 20 years–to contribute to the renovation.

The other $6 million came from federal funds in the form of low-interest bonds from the Virginia Department of Education as part of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The federal stimulus provides funding for consolidating school projects, facilities more than 35 years old and projects in economically stressed areas. Bowling Green Primary is about 53 years old.

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