By Gary Lloyd
TRUSSVILLE — The bids for the construction of two new community elementary schools in Trussville will be opened in January.
According to Trussville City Schools officials, the bid opening date for the school at the Magnolia Place site is Jan. 13. The bid opening date for the school at the Cahaba Project site is Jan. 20. Both bid openings will be held at the Trussville City Schools Central Office at 2 p.m.
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The Trussville City Board of Education is likely to approve the first bid Jan. 16 and the other Jan. 26.
Each school will accommodate up to 500 students. The total cost — including construction, renovation, site work, contingency and other costs — for both schools will likely be around $23 million.
The plan is to open both schools for the 2016-2017 school year.
Trussville City Board of Education President Bill Roberts said at the Dec. 19 meeting that he’d like board members to start thinking about the official names for the two schools. He said he’d like to see the board put name options on the table for 30 days and hear back from the public.
Roberts did say he likes the sound of Cahaba Elementary School for the school in the Cahaba Project. He said naming the school in the Magnolia Place area will be more difficult because it will be surrounded by several subdivisions.
The Trussville City Board of Education in June approved revised contracts with Michael Brady Inc., the architect designing the two schools. Both schools will be constructed to accommodate 500 students. The schools were originally being planned to be built to accommodate 400 students.
According to the approved contracts, the construction and renovation of the New Deal-era school in the Cahaba Project was going to cost an estimated $6,592,500 for 400 students. For 500 students, that cost increases to a projected $8,153,000. The additional square footage being added to the Cahaba school project is 3,800.
The construction of the new school in the Magnolia Place area school was going to cost an estimated $6,746,500 for 400 students. For 500 students, that cost increases to a projected $8,347,250. The additional square footage being added to the Magnolia school project is 6,718.
For both schools to accommodate 400 students each, the total cost — including construction, renovation, site work, contingency and other costs — would have been an estimated $18,131,000. Accounting for the same costs, the two schools being built to accommodate 500 students each will be an estimated $23,045,815.
Trussville City Schools officials believe the seven-millage property tax increase that will fund the two new schools will cover the increase in the scope of the project. Seven additional mills in property taxes will cost Trussville residents $70 per year on homes appraised at $100,000, $140 per year on homes appraised at $200,000 and $210 per year on homes appraised at $300,000. Trussville residents on Feb. 25, 2014 voted to approve the seven-millage property tax increase. The final results of the vote were 2,813 people in favor of the increase, while 1,935 voted against it.
Based on this year’s enrollment, there would be 427 students attending the New Deal-era school building in the Cahaba Project, 374 at the school in the Magnolia Place area and 1,025 students at the Paine Elementary Campus. With enrollment likely to increase in Trussville, building the schools to accommodate 500 students each now is logical, according to school officials.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.