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No firm date on BHS finish

Like many others, Brookhaven School Board members are wanting toknow when the renovated and expanded Brookhaven High School will befinished.

During Tuesday night’s board meeting discussion of the project,board member Dr. Prentiss L. Smith asked representatives fromCarothers Construction Management what he should tell parents,teachers and students when they ask about moving into the newbuilding.

“My biggest concern is that the parents and kids were told inthe past that they were going to be able to move in at Christmas,then we told them spring break, and I don’t see that happening,”Smith said.

Scott Murphy, of Carothers Construction, said the entire projectwould be finished by the end of March, but students could possiblybegin classes in the new building after spring break.

“There’s a lot of little things, a lot of loose ends here andthere, and if we can pull together, we can make it,” saidMurphy.

Smith and other board members did not believe it would be a safeenough environment for students to start using the area withconstruction still taking place.

When asked about the delays in the project, which was originallyset to be completed in November 2001, Murphy explained that theproject was complicated at times because of the elaboratedesign.

“We’re not just building a regular box over there . . . it’s ashowcase and it takes longer to do that,” Murphy said.

Smith agreed, saying that he was impressed when he visited theconstruction site about two weeks ago. He described the school as”attractive and nice” but was unhappy with not being able to giveparents and students a straight answer about the completiondate.

“It’s going to be a timely process with all that’s got to bedone,” said Murphy. “We are sensitive to the fact that you havethose trailers back there to house your students in.”

In the specifics of what remains to be done at the school,Robert Freeman of Carothers Constructions said there were manysmall items on the to-do list.

“We didn’t get some of our hardware when we expected,” saidFreeman.

He told the board that the second floor of the east building wascomplete, and the kitchen in the basement will be painted this weekso that equipment can be installed next week.

In the west building, the hardware is about 90-95 percentcomplete, with the exception of some doors needing to be hung.

Work on the auditorium in the existing building has progressedtremendously, according to Superintendent Dr. Sam Bounds.

“We started painting the auditorium. . . and some time first ofnext week, we should be prepping for floor tile,” said Freeman.

He also pointed out that the duct work on the roof has beenfinished and should be ready for inspection soon.

Other points of discussion during the board meeting includeddeciding how to handle a situation involving tie bids for 16thSection land. Board attorney Bob Allen advised that an auctionwould have to be held between the two bidders at the nextmeeting.

The next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m., Feb. 11. It was movedfrom Feb. 26 due to the need to have personnel recommendations byFeb. 15.

During a more relaxing part of Tuesday’s meeting, board memberswere entertained by students from Mamie Martin Elementary School.The students dressed up and told board members about a few of theiractivities, including spirit day, math, phonics and acceleratedreading.