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Vidalia Completes School Project
Thursday, 10 January 2013

January 10--  The most recent school construction project in the Vidalia City School System is complete.

At its first meeting of the new year, the Vidalia school board got a summary of the project from architect Mike Parker and learned that it came in under budget and on time.

The project included renovation of J.D. Dickerson Primary School and construction of a field house at J.R. Trippe Middle School.  Parker told the board much of the project's success was due to cooperation and communication between the project manager, McDonald Construction Company, and the school officials.

"Jeffery Williamson, the on-site superintendent, did an excellent job communicating with the administration and teachers so they could continue teacning while he was doing his construction.  They did a good job of working the schedule and coming in under budget," Parker said.

Parker says the renovation saved the school system millions of dollars.

"In this case, had we built a new school, we would have been in the $10 to $12 million dollar range whereas we renovated Dickerson and built the field house at Trippe for less than $6 million," he noted.

Parker also said 70 percent of the work was done by local contractors and suppliers.

The project is being financed by sales tax revenue and is expected to be paid off in April.  In the meantime, the school board is taking out a tax anticipation loan of up to $800,000 to cover interim payments.

In other business, School Superintedent Dr. Garrett Wilcox reported on a school security meeting Monday with law enforcement and emergency responders.   He said it was a good first step and that future meetings are planned to coordinate emergency reaction plans at schools in Vidalia.  

Tim Truxel, the new school board chairman, presided at the meeting.

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