By Jennifer Ginn
The Tupelo School Board awarded Sanderson Construction Co. a nearly $5 million contract to build the new Parkway Elementary School on Rutherford Road.
Parkway, which will be a kindergarten through third-grade building, is the final major construction project to be paid for by a $29.5-million bond issue passed by voters in 1999. The bond issue construction kicked off in June of 2000 when the board awarded a $10-million contract to Pryor & Frazier Construction for projects at Tupelo High School.
The projects, which are under way, include building a performing arts center, a career center, a new media center and additions to the current media center to convert it into a freshman complex. The price for the construction came in below the $11.75 million originally allotted for the project. Nine contractors bid on the Parkway project, with most of them fairly close together in price. Only $692,503 separated the high and low bids.
Superintendent Mike Vinson said he and the board were worried about how high the bids would be for Parkway. Four classrooms in the original plan were listed as alternates, he said, in case the overall price was too high and the design had to be cut back.
The board voted to accept the alternate of the additional classrooms, as well as ones that upgraded windows in the facility, and added curbs and paving to the bus driveway and a decorative clock to the entranceway.
The school district originally planned on spending $9 million on both Parkway and Lawndale elementaries. Both schools came in at just under $5 million a piece.
Parkway is scheduled to be ready for students by the fall of 2002.