Halifax County School Board has approved a Construction Management Agency (CMA) firm, pending contract review by legal counsel, for the Halifax County High School construction project.

The school board selected the company when they met in a special called meeting on Thursday to interview two finalists in closed session.

Four Construction Management Agency firms submitted proposals to the school’s Request for Proposals (RFP). 

“A screening committee ‘shortlisted’ the firms to two finalists after care review and consideration of the proposals,” interim director of secondary education Scott Worner said in an email to the Gazette.

After Thursday’s interviews, the board selected their preferred company pending reference review and legal counsel’s review of contract.

McGuire Woods will review the contract to make certain that the school division is “well served by the provider,” “best represented by the provider,” to ensure the company “can be best be stewards of public taxpayer dollars,” and to determine that the school board will be paying an “appropriate fee,” said Worner.

Once the review is complete, the CMA becomes Halifax County Public School’s representative, the director explained.

He went on to say the CMA would then complete negotiation of the architect’s proposed fees and contract. Once all parties agree, the architect’s contract and fees will be presented to the school board with a recommendation for acceptance.

The architect will then begin stakeholder meetings; subcontractors will begin preliminary site design and permits will be submitted to the county and Department of Environmental Quality, Worner said.

Halifax County Board of Supervisors recently decided to borrow $110,250,000 for the new school.

The school will be paid for using the 1% sales tax money approved by referendum and school debt funds.

At Monday’s Halifax County School Board meeting, county resident Amanda Hodnett told the board she was “very disappointed” that they had decided to move forward with this project. She said some board members had told her they were against a new school, but has since fallen in line.

She accused the board of having their “heads in the sand,” and not realizing how bad the economy is right now.

“The county cannot afford this,” said Hodnett.

She also told the board that a new building will not solve the school system’s problems.

Halifax resident Jack Dunavant also approached the board during citizen comments to pass out a letter.

Dunavant has a letter printed in today’s Gazette also sharing his thoughts about the school system saying a new building will not help the school system’s discipline problems.

Ashley Conner is the editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at aconner@gazettevirginian.com

Ashley Hodge is the editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at ahodge@gazettevirginian.com