Discussions will continue this week on possible increase in compensation for Halifax County Public School employees and modernization of Halifax County High School as well as consolidation of local elementary schools.

Halifax County School Board plan to continue discussions on those topics when they meet Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the public meeting office of the Mary Bethune Office complex in Halifax.

The public also will have a chance Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. to weigh in on possible elementary school consolidation at a public hearing at Sinai Elementary School.

The school board would like to build a new high school and have been considering a proposal that would address compensation for all employees, the high school and capacity at elementary schools since an August work session.

At that meeting, the school board reviewed savings if they closed anywhere up to three elementary schools, and potential costs to upgrade existing aging facilities.

The three schools they’ve considered closing are Clays Mill Elementary, Meadville Elementary and Sinai Elementary, which superintendent Dr. Mark Lineburg said could generate $6,679,000 in utility and maintenance savings and $69,225,000 in personnel savings over 30 years.

The proposal to close elementary schools also included $37 million worth of renovations to Sydnor Jennings and Scottsburg Elementary School.

Meadville, Sinai, Clays Mill, Sydnor Jennings and Scottsburg elementary schools were all built in the 1960s, and currently have enrollments ranging from 139 to 201 students. Guidelines from the Virginia Department of Education say elementary schools could accommodate 400 to 500 students.

The school board also is still deciding, along with the Halifax County Board of Supervisors, on which method of construction they should use for the high school project.

They could go with a PPEA option, design-bid-build or the construction manager at risk.

With PPEA, there is usually only one joint contract between the owner and architect along with the contractor, and an upfront maximum guaranteed price of the project. Design-bid-build, on the other hand, involves a separate contract for the architect and the construction firm, and costs can fluctuate. The initial architect’s estimate for the cost of the project may be higher or lower once construction bids are submitted.

Construction manager at risk is a delivery method that entails a commitment by the construction manager to deliver the project within a guaranteed maximum price.

The school board adopted Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of Halifax County Public School Guidelines in December of 2019.

Also in 2019, Grimm + Parker Architects with English Construction and Moseley Architects submitted proposals.

Branch Builds, along with RRMM Architects, LPA Consulting Engineers and Timmons Group submitted an unsolicited PPEA on March 30 after the school board entered into a pre-construction service contract with the company.

At a recent meeting with the school board, Lineburg told the board that it was up to the boards which method they’d like to move forward with, but he said the timeline for completion of the construction of the project would be shorter with the PEEA than with the design-bid-build.