BCSC school board approves needed upgrades

Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. has selected contractors for millions of dollars of improvements to Columbus North and East high schools, including a major upgrade to the Judson Erne Auditorium.

BCSC school board members Monday approved an $829,000 contract for Dunlap and Co. for mechanical and electrical improvements to the auditorium, which was damaged in a Dec. 5 fire. Dunlap will replace seven heating and air conditioning air handlers for the auditorium, said Jim Funk, principal with CSO Architects.

In April, Greendale-based Maxwell Construction Co. received a $1.29 million contract to perform auditorium improvements at North, in addition to gymnasium improvements at Columbus East that will include bleacher upgrades. BCSC plans to replace all the auditorium seats this summer as well.

Columbus East High School will receive a new running track after a $395,000 bid was awarded Monday to Globe Asphalt, Indianapolis.

The work at East and North high schools will be paid through interest refunded through Build America Bonds, which were made available after the recession by the federal government and allowed the district to reinvest in its facilities, said Jim Roberts, BCSC superintendent.

In addition to the high school improvements, an additional $6.7 million is being spent on upgrading middle and elementary school buildings and playgrounds. The money will come from general obligation bonds that are expected to be repaid over a 10-year period.

Dillsboro-based Poole Group Inc. will replace carpeting and a fire door at Richards Elementary School. At Northside Middle School, the company will replace carpeting and add new marker boards. Its $322,400 contract covers work to be performed at both schools.

HRC Roofing & Sheet Metal Co., Columbus will replace roofs at Northside plus Rockcreek and Southside elementary schools after being awarded a $426,500 contract. The district plans to complete the final section of re-roofing at Northside, while two sections of roofing will be replaced at Rockcreek. Southside’s energy center also will receive a new roof.

A bid for exterior improvements at Parkside Elementary School is scheduled to be considered by the board on May 22. That work will involve the roof being replaced on the building, which also needs fascia repairs and window replacements, according to the district.

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com