CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Kanawha County Board of Education approved $11.7 million in construction contracts for the new "school of the future" near Edgewood Country Club on Thursday.All seven of the approved contracts were the low bids for the new Edgewood school.Board member Bill Raglin warned that sometimes "a low bid is a no bid" but received assurances from the county's facilities director that the school system had previously worked with a majority of the contractors.The largest of the bid packages -- $6.8 million -- was awarded to Scott Depot-based G&G Builders, which also received the primary contract for the first new West Side Elementary at the corner of Florida Street and Kanawha Boulevard West.
The board also approved a $995,000 contract with WG Tomko, a $1.7 million bid by Dougherty Company, a $1.7 million bid by Enerfab, a $155,300 bid by Brewer & Company, a $302,728 bid by C&T Design and a $16,960 contract with Thermal Balance. Thursday's awarding of the construction contracts brings the school system one step closer to completing what Raglin called "the most expensive school in Kanawha County's history." The total project is now estimated at $21 million. Kanawha County schools will contribute roughly $11 million to build the new school, with the SBA devoting more than $9 million.The new Edgewood school, which will consolidate students from J.E. Robins and Watts elementary schools, will emphasize web-based tools and individualized learning.Earlier this week, the state School Building Authority gave Kanawha County another $1 million to finish the new elementary school project, which was $2.8 million over budget.Costs have skyrocketed for the project due to its current hilly location.The school system settled on the current Edgewood site for the new school after it abandoned plans to build the school at Cato Park. U.S. Park Service requirements -- as well as pushback from area residents who worried about flooding and increased traffic -- stalled those plans to the point that board members eventually scrapped them altogether.It has cost more than $6.5 million just to clear trees, move land and build an access road up to the site of the new school before any construction has begun.Reach Amy Julia Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-4814.