Bidding close on new Oxford High School

By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – Oxford School District officials expect to offer this week several possible configurations of the proposed new Oxford High School for bid by construction companies.
The slow economy may work in the school district’s favor.
“We’ve already got 12 general contractors in line that are wanting plans,” said Tim Prewitt, the district’s on-site project manager. “We’re going to have some good participation; I think you guys are going to get a good number. It’s a big project; it’s a nice project.”
Officials aren’t taking favorable terms for granted, however. Interim Superintendent Brian Harvey identified a basic footprint – “what we’ve got to have to have school,” he said – that will include more than 222,000 square feet of space and is estimated to cost $29.8 million.
“We just want you to be prepared for a worst-case scenario,” said Michael Jones of Ely Guild Hardy Architects, which designed the campus.
Harvey said the district will invite contractors to bid on any or all of the possible options. When bids are received, board members will decide which best blends economy and function.
“We just need to be prepared to make some tough decisions,” Harvey said.
If bids are sufficiently low, options include a science building addition, a performance gym, media center building and a free-standing performing arts center.
Oxford School District voters approved a $30 million bond issue in October 2010 to finance construction. In addition to the new high school, proposed and under way projects include renovations and classroom additions.
errol.castens@journalinc.com