New school in works

Published 12:58 am Wednesday, September 2, 2009

SELMA — A crowd of about 100 residents here heard schools Superintendent Dr. Austin Obasohan’s call to build a new high school Tuesday night.

“Knowing what I know now, we need a new school and we are going to have a new school,” he said.

Leon Barkan, vice president, construction, program management of Volkert & Associates Inc., presented three different options for seeing improvements in the structure at Selma High School.

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The costs of the projects ranged from $33 million to $30 million.

Obasohan said he would prefer the second option, which would see construction of just about everything new, except for renovation of the fine arts and career tech centers. The space would encompass about 157,000 square feet.

Barkan said construction would take place in three phases: construction of a new main building, demolition of the old building and renovation of the fine arts and career tech centers.

Barkan said the plan could include covered walkways to the buildings not attached to the main building.

Construction would cost about $31 million with $21.2 million for bricks and mortar.

Obasohan said the school system has $7 million in hand. The school system has applied for $20 million in stimulus money.

Obasohan said the school system has asked the state for a $20 million loan at zero interest, but has yet to receive approval.

If the school system receives the loan, it will repay the money through its capital improvement fund, Obasohan said.

“It’s about $250,000 that we get from the city,” he said. “We will pay from that.”

The school system receives the money each year from the city. Obasohan said the money will draw interest until it is time to pay the note.