Oxford School Board waiting for clearer picture on budget for projects

Published 9:58 am Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Oxford School Board discussed two of its projects during Monday’s meeting that will be over the $38 million budget they originally set.

The board approved the proposed budgets pertaining to construction of the new Fine Arts building and the renovations to Bramlett Elementary, but Superintendent Brian Harvey said the board anticipated the projects would go over budget.

Harvey explained he was unsure how going over on the budget would affect athletic facilities, and cited these two projects as the reason OSD backed off on a project to create a central office.

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Funds set aside for the central office project will go into the Bramlett and fine arts projects.

However, Harvey said the board is anticipating the budget situation will become clearer when they receive bids on the proposals.

“We’re going to be over the $38 million. I’m not going to sit here and tell you we’re not,” Harvey said. “We’ll be in a better position to talk about that after we receive bids on these.”

Board president Gray Edmondson said OSD creates budgets that are usually higher so the board doesn’t have to rebid on specific parts of the projects.

The proposed budget for the Bramlett Elementary renovations is $1.5 million and the budget for building the fine arts building is $14.7 million, according to documents on the school board’s agenda.

The numbers on the proposed budgets aren’t locking OSD into an agreement. They only authorize the project to advertise for bids if they were approved, and the board approved both budgets unanimously.

The board also approved a proposed bid for Testing and Special Inspection Services, which would make sure the ground and soil was acceptable to build on. The services also make sure the concrete and steel would hold up.

Casey Rogers, President of Innovative Construction Management, explained how it was standard procedure for every project. The board approved the lowest proposed amount of $85,000, which was bid by Geotechnology Incorporated.