Pocahontas School Superintendent Updates the Status of the Major Improvement Project
Pocahontas County School Superintendent Terrence Beam provides our listeners with an update on exactly how far along they are in the process of using the approved SBA project funds to repair the sewer system and make other repairs at Pocahontas County High School.
“The MIP Project, is a Major Improvement Project that we had approved by the SBA back in the summer to replace our sewer system at the High School; the water tank at the High School; the fire alarm system at the High School; and some building improvements in the vocational part, windows and doors” said Superintendent Beam. “We received $925,000 for that project. We are in the process right now of interviewing Architects, which is the first step that we, by law, are required to take. This Wednesday, on August 30th, we’ll be conducting five interviews. The five Architects that are in the running are: Thrasher, Dunn, McKinley & Associates, Miller and OWPR. We have some experience with some of those companies, OWPR for example, The Town (Marlinton) has some experience with Dunn, been working on a water project with them, Thrasher has done some work in the county in the past, and I think McKinley also has. Miller is the only one that I am certain has not done any work in Pocahontas County. We will be interviewing those folks on Wednesday. The interview team –there’s four of us- asked for guidance from the SBA onwhat type of questions we needed to ask, and they provided us some pertinent questions (and) also with a fee scale that Architects can charge for their portion of this. Let me emphasize, that the fees we have to pay our Architect are included in the $925,000 we are receiving, and what’s left over is used for the project. We are going to be asking for experience with such projects, We want to find a company that’s done some projects for smaller school systems or smaller towns. We also want to find someone who falls inside our guidelines as far as our budget goes, and that are going to be available for us immediately, Our water/sewerage plant needs to be replaced as soon as possible. So that’s going to be one of the key components of this project – finding an architectural group that’s going to be immediately available to start on this because we would like to see this project completed within the next twelve months. So right now we are interviewing for this position. We will ask the Architects that we select to attend a future Board meeting –sometime in September- and answer any questions the Board may have on this process, how long it will take and what our next steps are. And then we will work with the SBA step-by-step as to what we will do after we hire the Architect what our next step will be and so forth. I think our next step actually will be to obtain a Clerk of the Works, and we’re not sure if that is something the Architects are responsible for that or if that is something the County will do. And of course the SBA will guide us through that process. But then after we do that, I know the Architects are responsible for establishing a bid process and taking care of all the bids for the sub-contract work that goes on. Hopefully we can complete this project by the time students are back in school next fall. That’s going to be our goal. It will be really hard to do something like this during the school year with students in attendance, but I’m sure a lot of the preliminary work will be able to be done beforehand and then we can complete the work in time for school to begin in the 18-19 school year.”