Neshoba County School Board accepts bids for two projects

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The Neshoba County School Board approved two separate bids earlier this month to complete a three-phase campus-wide renovation project and to construct a new physical education gym and two classrooms for the middle school.

The board awarded a $5 million bid to J & J Contractors of Philadelphia for the renovation work which includes new heating, ventilation and air conditioning in the first, second, fourth, fifth, kindergarten and pre-kindergarten buildings.

 The project also calls for bathroom renovations in the high school gym, learning center and in the fifth grade, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten buildings.

New windows will be added on the learning center and pre-kindergarten buildings.

The School Board accepted a second $3.6 million bid from J & J Contractors to construct the gym and new classrooms for the middle school.

The structure will be built behind the sixth grade building, Superintendent of Education Lundy Brantley said.

The two separate projects will be paid for with the third phase of federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds, which address the impact of COVID-19 on schools. School district funds will also be used.

ESSER funds are part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act passed by Congress.

Dr. Brantley said the money has to be used to prevent, prepare for or respond to COVID.

The renovation project won’t officially get underway until the summer of 2023 “because it is too involved,” Brantley said. “It would disrupt classrooms with too much noise and too much activity. It is strictly a summer project.”

Groundwork is expected to begin in July for the new construction project.

“We are short a few classrooms at the middle school right now,” Brantley said. “It’s hard to add more classes and not add some rooms. It is a future-focused project.”

The School Board is currently accepting bids to replace several security cameras on campus.

Brantley said the safety and security project was budgeted with ESSER 2 funds.

“We plan to replace some of our older cameras and add a few more to monitor the day-to-day operations on our campus,” Brantley said.

ESSER funds have allowed the school district to fund several new projects over the last two years, he said.

“It would have taken us 20 or so years from a cost perspective to get all the projects completed without those funds,” Brantley said.

 The second phase of the renovation project included additional new heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, new windows and exterior doors and additional restroom upgrades in several building.

That $2,966,000 bid was awarded to Mayrant & Associates of Jackson.

The first phase included new HVAC systems in the high school gym and old physical education gym.

Burks-Mordecai Builders Inc. of Columbus was awarded that contract for $2,566,000.

- Story by Debbie Burt Myers