PCHS finished

Pictured at left, an aerial view of the newly constructed high school. With final construction payment made this week, students and staff are slated to move in after Christmas break.

The new Pierce County High School is officially complete and is under budget.

SP Design Group of Macon, the architect, presented a final change order, a deduction of about $450,000, from the final, total price of the school.

Estimated at $29,974,000 at the start of the project, the final cost came in at $29,523,902. The school board presented the final payment of about $190,000 for construction of the school to SP Design Group of Macon, the architect, and Lentile Construction of Dublin, the construction manager on the project.

With the payment and a resolution of final completion, the board marked the official end of the almost two-year long project for the building of the school.

“The vision is completed,” said Mike Parker of SP Design. “It took four long years, but it is reality and I think it is a school that the community can be proud of and will serve it well for the next 40 years. It is Pierce County University!”

Parker gave a power point presentation of the construction process beginning with planning meetings and concluding with the finished building ready for move in during the Christmas holidays.

Parker and Tim Lentile of Lentile Construction, hailed the good cooperation and working relationship between the board and their staffs and with local and state governments in making the new high school a relating.

“This was a team project,” Parker said.

Parker gave some interesting facts on the construction process nothing that, although the school is a few months late opening, it was completed despite record rainfall and a historic snowfall.

“We lost over 190 days to weather delays and still almost made the opening day in August,” Parker said.

Lentile was praised for his work in using local contractors where possible. Lentile used 34 different contractors within a 30-mile radius of Blackshear.

Parker pointed out that effort totaled $16.8 million that came back in to the local economy.

“Economists point out that money turns over about five times within the community, so the economic impact to Pierce County is over $80 million,” he said.

Parker again stressed the fact the school is under budget and noted the BOE reduced its millage rate twice during the construction project.

“People in the community said their taxes were going to go up, but they didn’t,” he said.

Sharing fun facts, Parker pointed out the new high school features 132 miles of electrical wiring, 37.7 miles of data wiring, 700,000 bricks and 360,000 blocks.

The board presented Parker and Lentile with Pierce County Blue Bear shirts as a token of their appreciation for all the hard work both men did. Lentile was joined by his brother, Hugh, for the presentation.

The board also approved a resolution of appreciation to Tim Lentile of Lentile Construction for his “dedication, commitment and perseverance” while working on the new school.

Lentile got emotional in thanking the board.

“I have been able to be a Pierce Countian for a while,” he said, wiping tears.

In a housekeeping item, the board also approved a resolution changing the names of certain rooms at the high school from the way they were listed in the original plans and funding applications for the new facility.  

The rooms are named after the role they play in instruction including the construction, business, agriculture, family and consumer science and broadcast labs.

School superintendent Dr. Kevin Smith said the changes are necessary to make sure the plans accurately reflect the function of the building.

The high school is scheduled to open for classes for the beginning of second semester set for Monday, January 13, 2020.

The new school  features 64 classrooms and 185,000 square feet.

The school features a prominent, two-story administration wing along the front with a courtyard, a gymnasium and cafeteria.