Paperwork piles up for schools HVAC project

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By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

HILLSVILLE — Carroll supervisors completed the the county’s paperwork to proceed with replacing the heating and air conditioning at the high school at their meeting July 8.
If it seems like there’s a lot of documentation between cooperating agencies — the county, the Industrial Development Authority, the school board and Rural Development, which will provide the $5 million — it’s because there is.
The local boards had to sign off on the IDA leasing the school, prepare for interim funding, promise to pay off the federal community facilities loan, accept the low bid and more.
Supervisors Chairman David Hutchins commented on that when the county board approved a moral obligation to repay the federal agency, the school lease, an interim financing resolution and the bond anticipation note so work can start before closing the loan with Rural Development.
(Federal officials have indicated that the $5 million total can be increased to help cover the other two improvement items scheduled: getting natural gas to the high school and creating a science and technology lab.)
“Rural Development and all the government forms and paper and duplicates and triplicates and all those things are in process, so we should see some things happening there,” Hutchins said.
New Atlantic Contracting won the bid for the HVAC work, and they will mobilize within a couple weeks in order to get as much work done during summer as possible.
The heating and air conditioning estimates came in higher than when the whole project was first bid out two years ago. Supervisor Josh Hendrick asked what that meant for funding the other components of this work.
Contingency funds have been built in, and that may take care of the needs, County Administrator Gary Larrowe answered. “Obviously, we don’t know exactly what we might run into that we need to use the contingency fund [to pay for].”
Rural Development will also allow the county to borrow additional funds, if necessary, to complete this project, Larrowe added.