By Nancy Schaar
Carrollton Schools board of education members received a progress update on construction of the new school during the Aug. 8 meeting.
“We are moving a lot of dirt. It is full steam ahead. There will be many more contractors and office trailers coming to the site in the months ahead,” said Andrew Lowther, project manager for Shook Construction.
Lowther provided an update on excavation to prepare the building site on State Route 332 for the new Carrollton schools building.
“There is no more grass. Trailers have been mobilized and the building pads are about 80 percent done. By mid August, we should be pouring the concrete foundation and then the block work begins,” said Lowther.
The unseasonably wet weather in July did not hold up excavation time tables and Lowther said the work is on schedule.
Lowther was quick to dispel the rumors around town that a burial ground has been unearthed, that Native American bones were found, and that dinosaur bones were found while excavating.
“We have moved nothing but brown dirt,” he said.
Of the 160-acre property owned by the school district, about 80 acres are included in the excavation site. Lowther said water trucks are at the site and they are using them, but there is still a lot of dust, which is to be expected.
School Superintendent Dr. David Quattrochi informed board members of a change in the building plans. He said because the entire project costs came in under budget, plans for a new athletic field house were included. However, the best location for the field house is where the old barn is now standing.
“We’ve made revisions on the drawings and it will be where the barn is located. It (the barn) will be auctioned off,” said Quattrochi.
Quattrochi explained the barn was not built for students and the cost to make the building usable for students that meets criteria demanded by the Americans with Disabilities Act, would be about $750,000. The cost to put the field house at the end of the stadium would be an additional $250,000. Neither option is possible in the budget, Quattrochi noted.
Where the barn is located is the flattest area on the property and will be the most cost efficient. The field house is expected to cost approximately $1.5 million.
Board member Helen Skinner questioned Quattrochi regarding the idea presented to district residents a few years ago that the barn would be used to house a museum that would include school artifacts and photographs from the former elementary buildings in the district of Harlem Springs, Dellroy, Augusta, and Kilgore. All elementary students will be housed at the current high school building after the completion of the new grade six through twelve building.
Quattrochi said some of the barn stones will be kept and used for architectural design in the new building and will also be used for the base of the new school sign to be located near State Route 332 when the building is finished.
Skinner said she wanted to make sure we are not destroying our history.
A date for the upcoming barn auction will be announced soon.
In other information presented by Quattrochi, the board learned a new Facebook page was established for the district. He said it will be a two way center for communication in the near future.
Videos and photographs of the building project will be posted as it progresses.
“Communication is huge. The good things we are doing will be out there,” said Quattrochi.