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School making progress

The construction of Selma High School is now one step closer, as the school board passed on Dec. 10 to hire Christian Testing Laboratories, a Montgomery-based company, to perform the geotechnical and environmental investigations and construction materials testing of the plans for the new high school.

The company will test “how far the footers have to be in and the soil,” among other items to examine the foundation of the land beneath the soon-to-be-built school, said Ray Mathiews, director of operations for Selma City Schools.

Christian Testing Laboratories tested for the Selma Board of Education building, located adjacent to Selma High, which was one of the reasons why this firm was chosen for the project.

“That was a plus for them because they already know things for that site,” Matthiews said. About 10 to 15 companies sent proposals to the school board.

The city school board will pay the testing company $139,900 to review all elements relating to Selma High School.

Christian Testing Laboratories will ensure the facility is up to state regulations and that the blueprints are sound. “We hired them to make sure we’re in compliance,” said Dr. Austin Obasohan.

This project will require community input for the final decision of exterior design of the high school. “This is a collaborative effort,” Mathiews said. He wants the staff at the school, curriculum staff from the central office and the public to share ideas about designs for the building.

“Those types of decisions haven’t been made, but we’re looking for public input,” Mathiews said. It is also important for Mathiews that the plans for the new building match the programs of the current the building.

“This is an opportune time to be building,” because of lower costs of products and services as well as the monetary help offered by the stimulus package, Mathiews said. “We’re excited about the project and what it can do for the school system,” Mathiews said.