A very wet summer has delayed the completion of dirt work required to begin construction on the Starkville Oktibbeha School District-Mississippi State University Partnership School.
Bruce Wood, architect for the project, provided an updated bidding and construction schedule to the Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School Board of Trustees during its regular August meeting on Tuesday.
The contract for the dirt work was expected to be completed in September, but a 45-day rain delay has pushed that date back to November. The delay also means the school’s completion date is now spring 2019.
“There’s a lot of anticipation and excitement about the opening of this new school, and I think we’re all a little disappointed, but the revised schedule gives us some flexibility,” said Eddie Peasant, SOCSD superintendent. “It definitely eliminates the additional planning required for a move in the middle of the school year, and it will allow us to adequately prepare the building to be ready to welcome students on the first day.”
The new schedule also extends the construction time from 14 months to 16 months in effort to keep bid prices within the projected budget since a tighter construction schedule could drive up the cost.
Prior to Tuesday’s board meeting, Wood and others with JH&H Architects met with university and district leaders to review interior finishes, acoustic and audio-visual requirements and science classrooms.
“We’ve had some really good meetings with JH&H, and we’ve made some adjustments to art and music spaces on the spot to maximize instruction and provide the best learning environment for our students,” said Peasant. “Our state, our community and our university have invested a lot of resources in this project, and we want to make sure we get it right.”