Final Bond Projects Set for Completion This Summer

The last two projects from the original 2008 bond projects are scheduled to be completed this summer, and construction on the first six of nine priority projects will begin near the end of the summer.

Work on the HVAC renovations at Ragsdale are in the final phase after the board awarded the contract to Bar Construction Company at its May 12 meeting. Construction is underway and is scheduled to be complete in mid-August.

At Southeast High, the renovations and additions on the school’s athletics and performing arts project are more than half complete. Roof trusses and decking are complete on both the field house and the performing arts buildings, and interior rough-ins are in progress; grading, irrigation system and sod are complete on the football field; and brick veneer is complete on both the softball and Baseball concession and restroom buildings.

In 2008, Guilford County voters approved $457 million in school construction bonds. To date, more than $350 million has been spent or is currently under contract. Money saved on earlier 2008 bond construction projects and redirected funds from the Airport Area High School project is paying for nine priority projects in the district, six of which are scheduled to start construction near the end of the summer. For a complete list of these projects, click here.

In March, county commissioners approved allocating $60 million to start work on renovations and expansions at Northwood Elementary and High Point Central High, new traffic patterns at Dudley and Northwest High, renovations and upgrades at Bluford Elementary and a replacement school for Hunter Elementary.

Commissioners voted not to release money needed to start construction on the remaining three priority projects at Western High, Smith High and Guilford Middle until the summer of 2016. The district estimates these projects will cost an additional $46 million.

Finally, GCS spent more than 99 percent of the $34 million allotted in federal Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCB). When addition and renovation projects at Allen Middle and Grimsley High, 13 HVAC projects, six roofing projects and 9 window/door replacement projects around the district came in under budget, the district was able to use the savings to add five HVAC projects, eight roofing projects, 12 window/door replacement projects and renovated the Allen Jay Middle Rock Gym into classroom and assembly spaces.

GCS also used the funds to address high priority technology needs, which included 51 sites receiving new fire alarm monitoring systems and four sites receiving voice communication upgrades. The district was also able to install intercom door access systems at 45 sites, network infrastructure upgrades at five sites and four additional sites received voice communication upgrades.

The bonds were provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and GCS was issued bond funds in February and March of 2012. The district had three years to spend the money, or it needed to be used to retire debt associated with the bonds. At the end of the three years, GCS spent all but $233,686. That’s just .69 percent of funds remaining and represents the savings on the last two projects that came in under budget.

GCS currently has more than $1 billion in unmet facility needs across the district, and at least 60 percent of district schools were built before 1969.