April 20, 2015
Mr. David Seagraves, CFO of Hart County Schools, presented a program on the status of the new high school construction projects since inception in August 2014. Using copies of construction plans and visual aids, Mr. Seagraves expanded on several key points:
A. Hiring of a Construction Manager at Risk. The CM will collaborate with all parties involved in the project such as the architects, contractors and Hart County BOE officials hopefully eliminating design errors, cost overruns and minding project time tables.
B. Permitting for site work has been approved. A full set of site plans and permits are available to anyone on the BOE website.
C. Project time table to completion is expected to be 2 school years and 3 summers. Bid requests for site work will be issued in early May. Requests for building bids are expected to be released this August. He explained there will be 2 phases to the project: destruction of existing buildings and the construction of the new wellness/gym and career college academy.
D. General Obligation Bonds. $8.5 million in bonds have been sold at an interest rate of 1.3% to the school system to provide construction funding. The school system will pay interest only during the construction phase, hopefully allowing them to incorporate some pay as they go procedures into the construction plan. These are short term bonds whose coupons become due in August 01, 2017 and 2018 at 3% and 2019 & 2020 at 4%. He advised the financial plan as structured is expected to allow the county and school to be debt free at the end of the bond period.
F. Site Plan for new buildings improves security within the campus; parking will be safer and facilitate traffic flow. Faculty members have had opportunities for input and all aspects of new construction including classrooms must meet all State of Georgia requirements and approval.
G. Design of the Ag Center has not yet been finalized. It will be a pre-engineered building and will not be included in the CM at Risk program. It will be a general contractor and bid process governed by internal BOE and school management.
Mr. Seagraves answered members’ questions throughout his explanation of each construction topic and a lively discussion concluded his presentation.