McDONOUGH — The clatter of tools is a first indication that school construction and renovation projects are underway in Henry County and that several more are on the way.
The largest of the projects is the construction of the new Hampton High School at $35.69 million, said Allen Guimarin, the facilities and maintenance executive director for Henry County Schools.
The projects are funded through the penny sales tax for education known as SPLOST IV, which is projected to generate tax collections up to $225 million over a five-year span beginning in January. Revenues collected through SPLOST go to building repairs, classroom additions and renovations at schools throughout the county.
Guimarin said vertical construction has already begun at Hampton High. Officials broke ground on the project July 9.
The school is being built to relieve overcrowding at nearby schools, including Luella High in Locust Grove. It is expected to be completed by July 2014 in time to open for the 2014-15 school year.
Building footings and foundation walls are being placed in the gym area, he said in a status report to the school board this week. MEJA Construction Inc. of Jackson is managing the construction for $35.69 million.
“There has been a rise in construction costs,” said Guimarin.
He said his department received eight bids for renovations at Eagle’s Landing High and the construction of an addition at the school.
Each of the bids came in over the district’s $18.5 million budget, he said. The bids ranged from about $21 million upwards to $23 million. However, he said savings from a low bid to construct Hampton High should help make up the difference.
Architects are working on construction documents for renovation and addition projects at Stockbridge High and Eagle’s Landing Middle. Bids are due Nov. 6 for the construction contract at Stockbridge High. Nov. 29 is the due date for bids on the Eagle’s Landing Middle contract.
The district has contracted with Brazos Urethane Inc. in Newnan for $1.98 million to make roofing repairs at several schools. The work is expected to be completed in late February.
The district is also in the process of getting surveillance systems for all of its 29 elementary schools.