The Lincoln County Board of Education chose Matthews Construction of Concord to oversee the building of the new Lincolnton Middle School during a special called meeting Wednesday night.
Board members unanimously voted to accept the general contractor on the basis of its bid of $10,198,000.
â€œIâ€™m very excited about getting approval for getting a contract and getting started on this project,â€ said Chairwoman Jean Dellinger. â€œI have no doubt it will go very well.â€
Board members made their decision based on bids from five area contractors. Hickory Construction appeared to have the lowest bid but later contacted the board saying they had made a mistake. They withdrew their bid.
The bid accepted by the board serves as a jumping off point for negotiations, said Darrell Gettys, director of construction with the schools.
Now that Matthews Construction has been selected, the board will begin negotiations. Specifics, or â€œalternates,â€ will be discussed.
The boardâ€™s five alternates include an additional building, terrazzo floors, CMU veneer, standing seam roof, Zolatone in corridors, an automatic sprinkler system, a fire pump, peak hardware cylinders and road widening on Startown Road.
Gettys said the road widening project is one he plans to tackle.
â€œWhich is a challenge I have before me to see if I can get help paying for it,â€ he said.
The Department of Transportation paid for the widening of the road when St. James Elementary School was built. The cost of the road widening fell on the schools while constructing North Lincoln High School.
Watson and Gettys said they feel optimistic about working with Matthews Construction. Choosing the company wasnâ€™t taken lightly. The company has many examples of its work in schools in surrounding counties.
â€œItâ€™s kind of a card game if you will,â€ Gettys said. â€œWe did a qualification process. There has to be credibility.â€
With negotiations now underway, the board hopes to sign the contract and gain final approval during the Dec. 2 board planning session.
â€œAnd weâ€™ll get Matthews started on the job,â€ said Gettys.
Construction of the new middle school is being funded through the $47 million bond referendum passed in May of this year. The school should be up and running for the 2006-07 academic year.
The tight timeline makes each decision crucial in completion of the project, said Lyle Back, coordinator of community schools.
â€œThis has to be done in a timely manner because we need to start moving dirt and building the school,â€ he said.by Diane Turbyfill