Bids open for Rhea County's new high school Aug. 25

Bids open for Rhea County's new high school Aug. 25

August 15th, 2011 by Tom Davis in News

Jerry Levengood, the director of schools in Rhea County, Tenn.

Jerry Levengood, the director of schools in Rhea...

DAYTON, Tenn. - The construction manager for Rhea County's new high school will open bids Aug. 25 and present a "guaranteed maximum price" to the county a week later, school board members were told last week.

The project, which includes construction of a high school for 2,000 students and renovations to the present high school and vocational building, is estimated to cost $35 million.

Jamie Spencer, representing Hewlett Spencer, the construction management company, said Thursday that interest in the project is high, and he hopes to beat early projections.

He said the construction timeline would allow the county to move the high school from its present building to the new building, and move the middle school to the old high school building, by the time school opens in the fall of 2013.

In other matters, board members voted 5-4 to allow qualified home-schooled students to participate in athletic programs at county schools. Director of Schools Jerry Levengood pointed out that home-schooled students must register with the county school system and with the principal of the particular school involved by Friday, and they must meet Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association participation guidelines to be eligible to play. Beyond that, children must try out like other students to earn a spot on a team.

Levengood said that as of Thursday, the day before classes began, the county had enrolled 173 more students than were enrolled when school ended this past spring. That amounts to a 4 percent increase, he said.

"Generally, on the first day of school, a lot more show up," he said.

Tom Davis is based in Dayton, Tenn. Email him at