Pike-Lincoln Tech Center rebuilding could begin this coming spring
This schematic is of the new Pike-Lincoln Technical Center building Clopton School District Board members reached concensus on at a recent meeting.
The Pike-Lincoln Technical Center rebuilding project will go out for bids in February and could be open for students about one year later if everything goes well, according to school Director Martin Hanley.
“We are hoping to be in at the start of the second semester next year (2015),” Hanley said last week. “It depends on the weather and how the bidding process goes. We’re looking at a March groundbreaking.”
The district’s rebuilding budget is about $4.7 million, almost $4 million of which came from insurance, according to Clopton Superintendent Mark Harvey. A $1 million pledge from the state for the project was eliminated from the budget twice last year and finally reinstated to get the last funding needed.
The main building of the center in Eolia burned to the ground on Dec. 2, 2011, from a blaze, the cause of which was never determined. State fire investigators did not suspect arson but thought a short in a wall could have caused the blaze.
Since then, Pike County R-III (Clopton) School Board members have kept the school going at the old middle school next to Clopton High and have lost about 40 students from their base of around 300 when the fire struck, Hanley said.
At a recent meeting, the Pike County R-III (Clopton) School Board reviewed three options for the rebuilding design and gave a general concensus for one of them. The building will be erected in two phases.
The first part will house the instructional rooms lost in the fire, including computer, welding, health services and nursing classes, Hanley said. The initial phase would create 36,000 square feet of learning space to replace the 32,000 square feet lost in the fire.
The new building will also offer room for a new robotics program and an added 3D program in the computer sciences, Hanley said.
The new structure will be near the existing automotive-diesel repair building, which will be added on to. The addition will make room for the auto body repair shop lost in the fire and provide added shop space for future growth.
Once those buildings are complete, a third classroom and hallway building will be built in phase two to link them, Hanley said.
To link the buildings now over a difference in grade of three feet “would have added $3 million to the cost,” Hanley said. “That’s why we’re not connecting them now.”