School Board Approves Architect Contract for DeKalb West School Building Project

January 4, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education met in special session Thursday night to approve an architect contract with Kaatz, Binkley, Jones & Morris Architects of Mount Juliet for the DeKalb West School building project.

Under terms of the contract, the architect is to receive a fixed fee of $102,142 including a $12,767 local match for work associated with the Community Safe Room portion of the project, as itemized in the (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Application. For the remainder of the building project, the architect is to receive 5% of construction cost associated with the work unrelated to the Community Safe Room portion of the project plus 5% of any unaccepted alternates.

Plans, once completed, must be approved by all appropriate authorities including the State Fire Marshal, before the project can be let for bids.

The school system recently received final approval for a FEMA grant to fund the classroom addition including eight tornado "safe rooms".

In November, David Brown of Kaatz, Binkley, Jones & Morris Architects updated the school board on the project "At long last, we got our final approval letters from the state and FEMA and the last of the hoops to jump through were approved for our grant at DeKalb West," said Brown.

"The next thing that will happen is you'll get a contract from the state that documents the 12 1/2% that they are going to put toward this (project) because if you'll remember out of the total grant, FEMA is going to take care of 75% and then the state of Tennessee is going to kick in another 12 1/2% which only leaves 12 ½%. That is what we've been waiting for. Its about eight weeks later than I thought it would be. We submitted (grant application) in March. We had heard from the state that everything looked good and that they were passing you on to Atlanta (FEMA office). Its what we've been waiting for and we can now move ahead with the project," said Brown.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency had earlier approved grant funds of more than $1.5 million for the safe room project at DeKalb West School, pending final approval by FEMA in Atlanta. The spending plan calls for $600,000 in local funding to meet a 12.5% FEMA grant match for building eight tornado "safe rooms" at DeKalb West School. The proposed addition would be constructed in the front of the school, including eight classrooms, restrooms, a new secure entrance, an office, clinic, conference room, guidance and teacher work area.

The county commission, last July, approved funding for the plan in the form of a $3.4 million note to cover the $600,000 grant match for the safe room project along with an $850,000 cafeteria and kitchen renovation project at DeKalb West School as well as roofing projects at DeKalb Middle School, DeKalb West School, and Smithville Elementary School.

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