Rain and environmental testing have delayed the opening of Columbus High School’s additional parking lot, but it never was scheduled to be ready in time for 2017-18 classes to start, Muscogee County School District construction director Bobby Hecht said Tuesday.
In an emailed interview with the Ledger-Enquirer, Hecht said the original schedule, based on the Jan. 25 contract, indicated a finish date of Sept. 14, a month after the school year begins Aug. 7. Now, Hecht said, the anticipated completion date is late October.
The project is designed to add 65 parking spaces to Columbus High’s current total of 242. The hope is that this will help alleviate the problem of students who don’t have a school parking pass upsetting residents by parking on the surrounding streets.
But even the solution has sparked some discord in the neighborhood. The project update on the Muscogee County School Board’s agenda for last month’s meeting includes this note: “Immediate neighbors have complained about dust & commotion; not uncommon to construction projects.”
The construction budget for the project is $685,000, but that doesn’t include the cost of the property. In March 2016, the board voted to buy the house and half-acre property at 1906 Cherokee Ave., adjacent to the school, for $250,000. It was owned by Walker Garrett, who then was a candidate for the District 8 seat on Columbus Council, which he won.
The project is combining the former Garrett property with an MCSD-owned retention pond, which is being filled and paved.
The construction contract for the project is Landmark Grading Company of Fort Mitchell, Ala., and Moon, Meeks, Mason & Vinson of Columbus is the engineer.