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Hartselle Enquirer

School Board terminates ties with PHS design team

Clif Knight

Hartselle Enquirer

 

Morgan County School Board voted to terminate its contract with GBW Architects and Advance Structural Design as the design team for the new Priceville High School at its annual meeting November 10.

Morgan County Schools Superintendent Bill Hopkins Jr. said a provision in the contract with GBW provided for termination with a 30-day notice.

Earlier efforts by the school system to resolve an impasse between the design team and Baggette Construction over the structural integrity of some of the walls dragged on for several weeks without a resolution Consequently, the school board hired an independent structural engineering firm to inspect the areas of the building under question and report its findings in a written report.

In a three-page report issued October 13, Lynn D., Blackburn Jr., of Blackburn Daniels and O’Barr wrote: “”This has been a very limited review and in no way can we say all of the structural parts are adequate and meet all code requirements, We can state that all of the items we looked at do meet code requirements and we found no evidence to indicate this structure is not safe.”

Blackburn’s report was later upheld by Katherine Lynn, director of the Alabama Building Commission.

Hopkins said negations are underway to hire another architect to complete the project.

“We want to make sure the school is safe before it is opened to faculty and students,” Hopkins added. “However,   we won’t be held hostage to a disagreement between the design team and general contractor.”

“The building may be completed by Christmas, but we don‘t know yet if a move can be made in that time, Hopkins said. “ The safety and convenience of our students is our main focus.”

At the meeting, an election was conducted to fill the chairman and vice chairman positions on the school board for 2016. Paul Holmes was elected chairman and Mike Tarpley was named vice chairman.

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