School improvements proposed

Published 10:13 am Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Multipurpose buildings at Phenix and Bacon District elementary schools, coupled with the removal of modular units in favor of an attachment building at Phenix may soon be underway. That’s according to a representative from a consulting company working with the county on the proposal.

Pictured are modular, or mobile united at Phenix Elementary School.

William “Bill” Gillespie, founder of Altavista-based MRG Consulting, LLC, said the county recently received and accepted an unsolicited Public Private Education Act (PPEA) proposal.

The act, according to Virginia Department of General Services, “enables public bodies to partner with private entities to bring private sector expertise to bear on public projects and encourage innovative approaches to financing construction and renovation.”

The proposal was submitted by Jamerson-Lewis Construction, based in Lynchburg.

“What the school board wants to do is replace the mobile units at the Phenix school,” Gillespie said, “and then they want to put a multipurpose building at the Phenix school and at Bacon.”

Gillespie said the mobile units, located at the rear of Phenix, have been a topic of concern as the units contain a library and a few classrooms.

“They usually are temporary units, but they have been there for a number of years,” Gillespie said.

He noted that members of the school board and the county look to replace the temporary units with a structure that would be attached to the rest of the school.

Gillespie said the contractor, Jamerson-Lewis, approached the school board after hearing the school division expressing concern about the issues.

“The schools have been talking about this for some time,” Gillespie said. “They’ve been trying to figure out what could they do based on the funding they have. What happened was a contractor heard that they had needs at their school facilities, and came in and sat down with them and said ‘Okay, we would like to give you a proposal. We would like to hear some of your needs.’ And so they talked about these particular needs of having to get rid of those temporary units and the fact that both of these schools need a multipurpose building.”

A public notice from the county indicates the county will be accepting competing proposals until April 30 at 2 p.m. Proposals would be submitted to the Charlotte County Public Schools administrative offices of the Superintendent at 250 Legrande Ave. in Charlotte Court House.

Regarding the current proposal, the notice points out, “Charlotte County intends to evaluate this proposal and may negotiate and/or reach a comprehensive agreement with the proposer.”

To learn more, contact Gillespie at (434) 841-2671.