published Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Cleveland school projects' costs reviewed

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Construction cost for a renovated Betsy Vines Theater at Cleveland High School and a new traffic configuration for the front of Cleveland Middle School were reviewed Tuesday by the Cleveland Board of Education.

Brian Templeton of Upland Design Group showed the board four base bids plus alternates for the theater. The initial low bidder, Stethen-Smith Construction of Knoxville, acknowledged a $65,000 mistake in its base bid of $345,522. For all the bidders, five add-on alternates varied widely.

"What we are experiencing in your area is that folks are busy," Templeton said. "When folks are busy, prices go up."

The board agreed to give Templeton a week to negotiate with the next-lowest bidder, Construction Consultants of Chattanooga.

The negotiation results could be ready for a vote when the board meets again in one week, May 22 at 2 p.m.

"We have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by waiting a week," said board member Peggy Pesterfield.

The May 22 meeting already was needed to decide among the Tennessee Department of Transportation's options for a new configuration to the entrance at Cleveland Middle School from Georgetown Road.

"They need to get feedback from the board before they proceed down the road to others," said Dr. Martin Ringstaff, city schools director.

Any of the options would work for the school, Ringstaff said, but city traffic experts like one that adds turn lanes, providing more space to stack traffic during rush hours.

Ringstaff said he understood the state, and not the school system, will be paying for the changes.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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