2006-08-30 / Family

School Board approves bid for new middle school

By Donna C. Gregory


The Chesterfield County School Board accepted a bid from Kenbridge Construction last week to construct a new middle school on Centerpointe Parkway, just west of St. Francis Medical Center off Charter Colony Parkway.

Kenbridge Construction offered the lowest bid at $28.6 million for the 172,000-square-foot school that's expected to open in fall 2008.

The school will accommodate 1,200 students, and will alleviate overcrowding at nearby Swift Creek Middle School. Students from other neighboring middle schools could also find themselves spending their school days in Centerpointe after the School Board begins a boundary change process next spring.

Prior to the unanimous vote, Interim Superintendent Kathy Kitchen told School Board members that the bid is 25 percent higher than construction costs originally projected.

The $28.6 million does not include the cost of purchasing land for the new school. It also doesn't cover design fees, furnishings, roads or offsite improvements, such as drainage.

Debra Marlow, the school system's director of community relations, projected purchasing and land and building new roads at the new Centerpointe middle school could cost up to $5 million.

The school system's Capital Improvements Plan includes a total of $34 million for the school.

In October, the School Board is expected to approve a bid to build another new middle school in the Bermuda District, just south of Route 10 at I-295. Since the design of the Bermuda school is the same as the one at Centerpointe, the School Board anticipates the construction costs for that school will be lower, since the construction companies that bid on Centerpointe now know their competitors' previous bids.

In other action:

The School Board continued to work on developing school, employee and community success goals for the school system's six-year vision plan.

School Board members and school administrators identified the following goals as those they'd like to focus on through 2008: Increase the number of schools that incorporate teaching self-directed learning and 21st century skills into their school improvement plans. Increase the number of minority teachers and administrators, so that school staff is more reflective of the student body. Currently, 26 percent of Chesterfield students are AfricanAmerican compared to only 9 percent of its teachers and 21 percent of its administrators. There are also gaps in the Hispanic and Asian populations. Make sure every staff member has a "professional growth and performance plan that guides their work and development." Increase the number of volunteers in schools and partnerships with corporations, organizations and individuals.

Goals that the School Board did not select from a list provided to them by school administrators included: Increase the number of schools that are identified by faculty and staff as thriving environments. Increase the percentage of employees that report being very satisfied to work for the school system as indicated on the Employee Satisfaction Survey. Decrease the percentage of teachers who leave the school system for other employment.

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