PELL CITY – Construction of a new storm shelter with space for more than 1,000 people could begin next month, school officials said Wednesday.

Michael Barber, superintendent of Pell City schools, told the board he would meet with the architect Wednesday to get the $1 million project under way.

“I want to thank the city, along with the County Commission, for their contribution,” Barber said after the school board unanimously approved accepting the low bid submitted by Construction Service Group LLC of Birmingham for the shelter construction. “We could not have done this without the city and county.”

The Pell City Council and St. Clair County Commission approved partnering with the school board to fund the project. The city and county will contribute one-third of the cost for the project, or up to $150,000 each.

“It’s a wonderful joint project, not only for the school system, but for the community,” Barber said.

Gary Mozingo, the facilities supervisor for the school system, said once the contract is signed the construction company will begin work on the shelter within 30 days.

Mozingo said he expects the construction to be completed by next summer, before the start of the 2015 school year.

“This kind of construction project takes a little longer to complete,” Barber said. “It’s not your typical construction.”

The shelter will withstand 250 mph winds.

Barber said the base bid for the project came in at $818,500. The school board received a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which will pay about $614,000 toward the construction of the basic shelter.

Barber said the base cost does not include site testing and architect fees, along with paint, floor tile and drop ceilings for the new structure. The planned facility is an addition to the Pell City Center, also known as the CEPA building, adjacent to Pell City High School.

The school board wants to dress up the shelter so it can serve as a multipurpose facility.

Barber said the space could be used as classroom space when it is not used as a shelter.

The total cost of the shelter is about $919,069, if there are no overruns, so the city and county will pay closer to $100,000 each rather than $150,000 to help complete the project.

In other matters at Wednesday morning’s special called meeting, the board:

O Accepted the resignation of William Wisdom, who was the strength training teacher, assistant varsity football coach and junior high school wrestling coach; Wendy East, who was a Pell City High School lunchroom worker; April Shirley, who was a bus driver; and Karen Layton, who was a lunchroom worker at Eden Elementary School.

O Approved hiring Maggie Brown Lane as a Coosa Valley Elementary first-grade teacher; Jerika Chatman-Burns and Cody Pearson as Iola Roberts Elementary School lunchroom workers.

O Approved the following reassignments: Jeanette Harmon from a first-grade to second-grade teacher at Coosa Valley Elementary School; Baylor Dampeer from a physical education teacher to the strength training teacher at Pell City High School; Michael Hathorn from a history teacher to physical education teacher at Pell City High School; Amber Crowe from a teacher assistant at Walter M. Kennedy to a teacher assistant in the RISE program at Walter M. Kennedy.

O Approved the following transfers: Kayla Minor from Williams Intermediate School to Coosa Valley Elementary School as a special education teacher; Lynda Lacy from Coosa Valley Elementary School to Pell City High School as a special education teacher; and Spencer Stone from a Duran South career explorations teacher to a Williams Intermediate School assistant principal; Teresa McCrory as a teacher assistant at RISE program at Kennedy Elementary School to the RISE program at Williams Intermediate, which will not affect her half-day at the RISE preschool program at Eden Elementary School; Andrew Clark from a Duran South lunchroom worker to a lunchroom manager at Iola Roberts Elementary School; Joyce Williams from an Iola Roberts Elementary lunchroom worker to a Pell City High School lunchroom worker; Tommy Ham from an Iola Roberts Elementary School lunchroom worker to a Williams Intermediate lunchroom worker.

O Approved the following contracts: Judy Hicks as a Walter M. Kennedy interventionist; Seana Alexander as a Coosa Valley Elementary School interventionist; Jennifer Laminack as a Coosa Valley Elementary School interventionist and Taren Otwell as a interventionist at Coosa Valley Elementary School.

O Announced that the next regularly scheduled board meeting is at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 19.

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