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School, city officials attend to last-minute needs at SHHS project

Madison Mathews • Mar 8, 2012 at 10:01 PM

As Science Hill High School’s massive $23 million project nears completion, school officials are looking to address a list of needs in order to the get the school into tip-top shape.

During Thursday morning’s facilities committee meeting, the list of needs, which covers everything from cafeteria tables to extensive electrical work, was looked over by school and city officials.

The school board has already budgeted $275,375 out of Washington County bond funds to cover the cost of replacing the hub roof, which connects the oldest section of the campus to the new addition of the school, cafeteria tables and painting of some of the older sections of the building.

That leaves $759,982.82 of Washington County dollars to cover the nearly $1.5 million of additional needs that were left out of the initial construction process.

“These were brought to the attention of the board and they’re trying to set priorities on them to see if they can address those things,” Instruction and Facilities Supervisor Dave Chupa said.

The additional needs not yet budgeted include a chemistry lab, a dust collection system for the vocational shop, wireless capabilities across the entire campus, additional parking lot paving, construction of a canopy leading to the vocational school, painting of canopy poles, HVAC engineering, construction of a canopy at the front entrance of the school and electrical needs, totaling $1,446,460.

The board is expected to prioritize the entire list next month before presenting it to the City Commission.

During Monday’s school board meeting, the board voted to remove keypad installation for a security system, shelving units and floor scrubbers from the list and pay for those items out of the general purpose school fund. Those come at a cost of $57,460.

The road to renovation and construction has been a long one for the school. Initial plans were approved in summer 2009, followed by construction work on the Vocation/Technical Center in January 2010.

Construction then shifted to Liberty Bell and then to the ninth-grade academy, dining hall, administrative offices and multi-purpose gymnasium.

Work on the academy was completed at the beginning of the year by Chattanooga’s EMJ Corp.

Chupa said the academic area, dining hall and administrative offices are about 99 percent complete. He said EMJ plans to finish up within the next several weeks.

“The physical education facility is about 70 percent complete and they plan to put on a real push over the next two weeks, particularly the week we’re out for spring break to try to finish up some things,” he said. “They will be hopeful that most everything is done except a little bit of exterior work that we’re actually waiting for some materials to come in.”

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