Timeline set for construction of High School gymnasium
story by greg sullivan
photos by angelina bellebuono
In July 2007, the Morgan County Board of Education approved a contractor bid of over $5.25 million to construct a new gymnasium for Morgan County High School. Now, approximately halfway through the planned construction process, there is ample visual evidence of the progress.
The new facility is currently on schedule to open on August 5, 2008 - the start of the 2008-2009 school year - with a substantial completion date of June 15 and a final punch-list date of July 15, according to the school system's Director of Operations Bob Monk.
"Things are on schedule," Monk said. "This will be a Cadillac facility...it'll be very nice."
The steel installation was one of the trickier parts of the building process, according to Monk. However, Kevin Price Contractors has risen to the occasion.
"They did an excellent job meeting that challenge," Monk said. "The [steel] erection is about 90 percent done."
The overall construction timeline for the new gym, according to Monk, can be broken down into four quarters.
The first quarter, which ran from approximately last September through November, included grading, in-ground plumbing, in-ground electricity and the pouring of in-ground slabs and plumbing.
Starting in the second quarter, which is currently winding down, work included steel erection, curbs, painting, excavation work for the sidewalk (which will run from the existing football stadium to the new facility), pouring of concrete walls and concrete block laying.
The third quarter, which is just beginning, includes exterior roof work, drying and beginning exterior brick work.
The final stages of the project will include installation of the bleachers and of the gym floor.
In a previous interview, Monk said the new facility will total 39,318 square feet - 25,441 on the first floor; 13,168 on the second; and an additional 709 in covered areas.
The building will hold 1,500 people, a capacity that qualifies it to host Class AAA Basketball playoff games. Other planned amenities for the structure include locker rooms, coaching and physical education offices and an athletic training facility, according to Monk. The facility will also have a large general purpose room, which may be used for weightlifting.
The gym will be capable of housing various events, including basketball, competition cheerleading, wrestling and volleyball, so long as schedules don't conflict.
Superintendent Stan DeJarnett said he's excited about the new facility.
"By the time we get that done, we're going to have about as nice an athletic facility, for a school our size, as anywhere in the state," DeJarnett said.
Another perk for the new gym, according to school officials, is its close proximity to the football stadium - directly behind the endzone opposite the existing fieldhouse facility - which allows it to be used for concession stands and restrooms during home football games.
Additionally, the school plans to retain and use the current gym on the high school campus, according to Monk.
The new gym was financed, in full, by Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds. The bid back was approved for $5,199,700 in 2007, plus an additional $60,000 approved option for a rubberized track surface, bringing the approved total to $5,259,700.