06/21/17 — School board awards building bid to firm

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School board awards building bid to firm

By Joey Pitchford
Published in News on June 21, 2017 7:08 AM

The Wayne County Board of Education made progress on the construction of the new Meadow Lane Elementary building at its special called session Tuesday, and made changes to its representation on the Wayne Community College Board of Trustees.

The board voted to award the bid for the building to Quadrant Construction, a Jacksonville-based company. Quadrant had the lowest bid offer among the four companies involved, coming out at $16,321,700.

Daniels & Daniels entered a bid of $16,887,000, while JM Thompson Company set its price at $17,080,000. TA Loving Company's bid sat at $17,940,000.

The Quadrant bid calls for approximately 630 days to complete the project.

Groundbreaking on the new school is expected for sometime this year, with construction beginning soon after. The new building will include a wing to house the Edgewood Community Developmental School, to be constructed alongside the current structure.

In other business, the board voted 4-2 to turn one if its two seats on the Wayne Community College Board of Education into an "in-house" seat, meaning that school board will appoint someone from the board itself to fill that spot instead of considering applications from the community at large.

The vote came after Veda McNair, chair of the WCC board, recommended the board of education re-appoint Terry Jordan to the board of trustees. Jordan's current term ends on June 30, and McNair sent the board a letter asking them to allow him to continue in that capacity.

District 4 representative Jennifer Strickland instead suggested that the position be opened up to nominations from the board, and that those nominations be limited to members of the board.

"I think it's important that we have direct representation on the board, so we can get reports back," she said. "In my two-and-a-half years on this board, I have not seen a report come back."

Mrs. Strickland, District 1 Representative Chris West, District 3 Representative Patricia Burden and Chairman Arnold Flowers voted for the change. District 2 Representative Len Henderson and District 6 Representative Richard Pridgen voted against it.

At-large representative Raymond Smith Jr. was not present at the meeting.

Henderson said he disagreed with restricting the position.

"I wanted to see it opened up to everyone, not just the board members," he said.

Pridgen shared those concerns, and said that the unpredictability of elected positions made it unwise.

"The terms on that board are four years, and so you could have someone from the board get put on (the WCC) board who then doesn't get elected by the public again," he said. "We may not get elected by the public next year, so then you've gotten yourself stuck.

Mrs. Strickland nominated West for the position. The board will have until its July 10 meeting to enter nominations, and will vote on them at that meeting.