WINNSBORO — The Fairfield County School District has finalized its list of programs for the new career center and has submitted the building’s floor plans to the Office of School Facilities for approval.
Some new programs in the Career and Technology Center will include engineering, bio-medical science, barbering and firefighter.
Phil Roof, project manager for Fairfield County School District, is coordinating the efforts to build the new Career and Technology Center and said the district expects to receive final approval of the floor plans in the next two weeks.
The location between the high school and middle school was chosen to better serve the students by eliminating travel time.
“Right now the students are wasting time by traveling to the career center and that educational time is being wasted in travel,” Roof noted.
For the first time, middle school students will have the opportunity to explore options at the career center.
Fairfield Career and Technology Center Director Chris Dinkins said the past monumental task of transporting 200 seventh and eighth graders off campus will now be easier with the career center’s new site next to the middle school.
“We’ve tried a couple different ways to bring middle school groups over in the past,” he explained. “But being this close will allow us to be able to allow middle school students to come over and spend more time to see what is going on. Just the proximity opens up a lot of avenues and we expect great number and great recruitment.”
J.R. Green, superintendent of Fairfield County Schools, said middle school students would be allowed to participate in career center classes in the future.
“We will look to expand what we’re doing with S.T.E.M. education, the Early College Co-Hort program and our Project Lead the Way programs,” Green noted. “Our thought is to be able to expand middle school students to be able to take on a host of programs that were previously unavailable.”
Project design is being done by Brownstone Group/MBAJ Architecture and the construction team is M.B. Kahn.
M.B. Kahn is family owned and operated in South Carolina since 1927. It is the largest privately owned general contractor in South Carolina. M.B. Kahn has done over $750 million in working as CM-at risk.
Fairfield County School District selected M.B. Kahn as the construction manager in April.
The construction manager will solicit and obtain competitive bids and quotes from contractors and subcontractors that have the qualifications and experience to perform work on the project.
Roof emphasized the construction manager’s effort to contract with local vendors.
Recently, the construction manager awarded a $1 million contract to a company in Ridgeway and plans to hire a company out of Great Falls to expand the water line.
Although it has been a goal to award contracts to local vendors, Green advised all those goals have not yet been reached.
“It has really been a struggle finding people who are either bonded or have the capacity to get them to participate,” he stated. “Even though a couple of local vendors have been hired, it has been no where near what we would have liked to have seen occur. We’re out there beating the bushes, but for whatever reason it is just not materializing.”
The site work has been approved by the Office of School Facilities and is underway. The building approval is still pending and currently under review by OSF. Floor plans have been submitted to the OSF for approval.
The Town of Winnsboro will handle the utilities for the building and Roof is pleased with the service thus far.
“I have nothing but great things to say about them (Town of Winnsboro),” he said. “I’ve never met a utility division that has been as cooperative as they have. They have been available to help us in anyway they could.”
Contractors have begun laying down concrete for the front parking lot, which is scheduled to be completed by the beginning of the 2014 fall semester.
The building will encompass approximately 65,500 square feet. The new Career and Technology Center has a total completion date of Aug. 1, 2015.
• Complete Parking Lots A & B: Aug. 17, 2014
• Begin below grade foundation work: Aug. 25, 2014
• Begin footings: Sept. 15, 2014
• Begin roofing: Dec. 30, 2014
• Building dry-in: March 24, 2015
• Complete construction: Aug. 1, 2015
A guaranteed maximum price was approved by the Fairfield County School Board of Trustees on May 28 in the amount of just under $15 million. The guaranteed maximum price assures the district no additional cost.
The district is working on a plan to coordinate traffic for football games, Roof said. He said he hopes to release detailed information next week.