Action expected soon on Love Chapel move

Brad Hicks • Apr 9, 2013 at 9:38 PM

ERWIN — The Unicoi County Board of Education did not take any action on the relocation plan for Love Chapel Elementary School at its meeting on Tuesday, but Director of Schools Denise Brown said she anticipates movement on the plan to take place soon.

Bids for the site work and modular classroom units needed for Love Chapel’s relocation to the grounds of Unicoi County Intermediate School have been let, and Brown said she expects bid responses for the site work to be returned by the end of the week. Prior to Tuesday’s meeting, Brown said the architectural firm Beeson, Lusk & Street will review the submitted bids to make sure they meet the board’s specifications and make a recommendation.

Brown said after the recommendation, a special called meeting of the board will be held to approve the bid. While the site work bids should be returned by the end of the week, Brown said it could be another couple of weeks before the board receives bids for the modular units.

“I think the site work will come in first, and it’ll probably be another week to two weeks before the modulars come in,” she said.

Brown said she expects the board will hold a called meeting in the middle or end of next week to approve the site work bid.

In March, the school board approved a relocation plan for Love Chapel that involves the purchase of a dozen modular units that will be placed on property located behind UCIS. Brown previously said these modulars will provide the space for 24 classrooms, and separate modulars will serve as Love Chapel’s administrative offices, library, computer lab space and a dining area.

School officials have previously stated they hope to have the site work completed and modulars in place by the end of July, in time for Love Chapel students to begin classes in the modulars when school resumes in August from the summer break.

Love Chapel’s relocation is necessary due to a sinkhole that was discovered on the school’s grounds on Aug. 18. A short-term relocation plan, which was implemented on Aug. 27 and will remain in effect through the end of this school year, saw Love Chapel students relocated to available space inside the Intermediate School and Unicoi County Middle School.

In February, the board voted to permanently close Love Chapel after an engineering firm’s report indicated several areas on the property either showed signs of sinkhole activity or the possibility of developing sinkhole activity.

In other business, the board voted Tuesday to approve the school system’s textbook adoption selection for the 2013-14 school year.

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