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The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals

Bid Opening Set for Athletic Facilities

The+architect%27s+artist+rendering+of+the+new+lobby+that+will+be+constructed+for+the+gymnasium.
The architect's artist rendering of the new lobby that will be constructed for the gymnasium.

The architect's artist rendering of the new lobby that will be constructed for the gymnasium.

The architect's artist rendering of the new lobby that will be constructed for the gymnasium.

Kathryn Gallenstein, Editor-in-Chief

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Entering the 2017-2018 school year, students and parents had to acclimate to a new traffic pattern that used to be the familiar, flowing parent loop.

The puzzling new traffic patterns were intentionally placed in preparation for the long anticipated construction of the athletic facilities.

Many of minds across Clark County have been wondering where the athletic facilities are or why it’s taken so long to get started.

The Board of Education has not been dragging its feet. “This board is fully behind building this gym and the construction of the athletic facilities,” said Clark County Supt. Paul Christy.

Christy said the state Department of Education and the building
commission have held up the process, adding that the state wants to be sure that the construction is done appropriately, and had some concerns about the usage of the gym.

The way the proposal was initially presented, the state was under the impression that the proposed gym would be for school-associated use only.

“We went back into the plans to make changes so that we aren’t limited to just basketball games,” said Christy. “The gym will be used for greater things such as hosting concerts and the option to have an indoor graduation.”

There have also been some concern regarding the size of the gym.

The requested plans have been compared to names such as “mega gym” and it needs to be communicated that it’s not that.

“What we have asked for is just what we want to do to best accommodate our school and community.” said Christy.

As of now, Clark County doesn’t have access to the kind of buildings that other counties across the state such as Fayette and Franklin County do.

“This will be the largest seating capacity area in Clark County,” said Christy. “This isn’t just a school thing; this is a true community thing.”

The plans for the athletic facilities went to bid this fall with the main package including a gymnasium, football stadium, and eight-lane track.

As is stands now, there is about $21 million to work with.

Whether or not there is any left over money to pursue additional packages including baseball, softball, tennis, a field house, and additional seating on the visitors side for football will depend on which bid is selected.

An important date to note is Oct. 10. On this day, the official bid opening will take place in the flex room at GRC. This is open to the public as part of the process.

Contractors choose which package they can best accomplish and what they want to bid on.

The bids are sealed until the meeting, and one by one, each package will be opened, and a tabulation sheet will be kept so that the lowest expense in each sectionwill be accentuated.

This is the ideal procedure to enable decision makers to choose what will best meet the wants, needs, and expectations of the plans.

“I think the bidding process will be very competitive,” said Christy. “There are a lot of people who want to be involved and have their name on this project.”

Once construction begins, there will be a tremendous push to get finished.

Depending on the weather, the contractors will work year round and will go during the school day. It is not predicted to disrupt what is going on in the classroom.

The athletic complex doesn’t have to be complete, but the money has to be committed, and the state has to guarantee that the complex will be built in its entirety before any other projects are taken on, such as our growing success at the preschool.

“I would like to bring sets of the plans to the courthouse, public library, and lobby of the school,” said Christy. “We want to start working with the community to go through this important process.”

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Bid Opening Set for Athletic Facilities