New GF middle school construction on schedule

Friday, December 4, 2009
As workers placed roof panels last week, the new Green Forest Middle School began to take shape. The concrete second floor has been poured, and work continues on schedule. Mike Ellis / CCN

GREEN FOREST -- Construction of a new middle school continues on schedule, and the building is rapidly taking shape.

Last week, the second floor slab was poured, and workers have begun placing panels on the roof.

Superintendent Jeff Williams said the project has gone smoothly right from the start, and he credits much of that success to the school board's decision to employ a construction manager/general contractor rather than a traditional general contractor.

CDI Contractors, a Little Rock company, has been involved right from the design process. Williams said this collaboration is one of the attractive features of a CMGC contractor. "The contractor can view plans through each stage and make recommendations," he said. "Most of the things they didn't like were removed early." 

Williams said the building is starting to resemble the drawings provided by Modus Studio, the architects for the project, although the exterior walls and a glass foyer will really change the appearance of the building.

"It will make a big difference in the look of the campus," Williams said.

The construction fences around the site will remain in place until the entire project is finished, but once the exterior of the building is complete, some landscaping work can begin.

School officials will receive an update on the project next week.

At a special meeting last week, the school board began making plans for staffing at the new building. Williams said some of the decisions will be easy, for example, a seventh-grade teacher can expect to move into the new building. Other decisions are not as obvious, such as administration, counselors, and librarians.

"We will have to rearrange some staff," Williams explained. The board will continue those discussions at the next regular meeting, on Dec. 14.

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