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Rebidding to occur for new OHS

OHS new building plans are stalled while they wait for a new bid.

 
Plans have changed for the new Oxford High School. After bids in March for $37 million were rejected, the school and architects went back to the drawing board and cut the budget by about $6 million. This brings the district around to the original amount given to them by the city of Oxford, $30 million.
Superintendent Brian Harvey said with this project that essentially the school had more building than they could pay for. 
“Because of that we are limited to what we can do,” he said. “We couldn’t negotiate with any contractor. Building was outside of funds we had available. Because of that, we are stuck in a situation.”
The blueprints have been altered since the original bid in March, but not to the detriment of the facility.
“We looked at some areas where are doing value cuts and moved around facilities to the core of the building,” he said.
 Harvey said budget cuts shouldn’t be a cause for concern. The plan is still to accommodate the 1200 students the school district anticipates.
“We are not losing any programs,” he said. “We are also not adding any programs we are hoped to adding.”
Architect Michael Jones said the $6 million in cuts won’t be hard to work around. 
“We are trying to look at every possible thing,” he said. “We look at everything across the board. We cut square footing out by 32,000 but had to add back another 10,000 and media center. Overall [we] cut out 22,000 square feet that in itself is 3.5 million dollars.” 
The school may also save money in an unconventional way. Jones said that high gas prices greatly affect construction costs for the contractors and may have played a negative roll in the first round of bidding.
“Gas and petroleum went up 10%.” Jones said.  “It escalated right before the bid and has gone down 10%, and maybe that will help us.  I know when they started seeing gas prices go up it does make a difference.”
Harvey and Jones both emphasized that changes being made to the blueprints for the school will in no way impact the students ability to learn, that they are still planning on making the best educational facility they can.
“The school was concerned about education, and natural lighting and things that had to do with the productivity of the students,” Jones said. “We are trying to make a quality project. We are trying to do the right thing.”
The biggest change to the plans can’t be found on the blueprints. Originally the school planned to open in the fall of 2013. That date has been pushed back to January 2014. 
“We are cautiously optimistic of opening in January 2014 but fall of 2014 might be more realistic,” Harvey said.