MACON, Georgia (41NBC/ WMGT)- The Northeast High and Appling Middle School merger project is a multi-million dollar face lift, and the Bibb County School District is asking for more.
Northeast High and Appling Middle schools are the oldest in the district. Alumni say the two schools joining forces is just what the east side of Macon needs. But as demand for construction goes up, so does the number on the project’s price tag.
“It’s something to be proud about, I mean we kept the names of both schools and we still get to say the Northeast High School so I think it’s great for the community,” alum Dominique Johnson said.
But at what cost?
“We’re asking for a $5.2-million budget amendment which is just a little over 10-percent above the current approved budget for the project,” Executive Director for Capital Programs of Bibb County Schools Jason Daniel said.
The budget already jumped from the original cost of $45-million to $48-million last April.
To now asking for $5.2-million.
“We’ve got our construction documents 100-percent complete. We’ve got out to the market and have gotten pricing and realized that the approved budget that we have is not sufficient to fund the project as designed,” Daniel said.
The steel tariff and demand for concrete has made the project hit a wall, financially.
“The market conditions have played a factor into it. The construction market, there’s a heavy demand in the market right now,” Daniel said.
He adds, the schools will still be separate, but just on one lot.
“It allows a shared space. You wouldn’t have a full-scale fine arts auditorium for a middle school,” he said.
He says it’ll also allow convenience for transportation, sharing of labs and athletic facilities.
“Bringing these schools online will bring a modern facility that’s built with the future in mind it will allow for expansion it will allow for new technology and it will be built around how we operate,” Daniel said.
Northeast will be able to receive extra helping hands from the alumni associate getting back together.
“We can start helping out in that area with booster clubs and those things particularly helping out with academics and the sports at the same time,” Johnson said.
Daniel says they’ve presented the board of education with the design and new amount already. This allows the board to look it over and ask questions before they meet and before they vote May 8th.
Northeast High should be complete by August of 2019. The middle school will be finished the following year in august 2020.