Cary Henson of Henson Construction gave an update on the Pope School project last week at the Jackson-Madison County School Board work session and education vision committee meeting.
He said he’d received a few questions about how far behind the project is because nothing has happened on the site other than putting a sign up indicating what is coming to the site. But he said the project isn’t late.
“We’re getting started later than I would’ve hoped on the site package, but we’ve got enough cushion with the schedule that we’re still on track to turn the keys over to the owner by June 1, 2025,” Henson said.
Henson and JMCSS leadership has worked out a deal with Madison County Sheriff Julian Wiser to bring inmates from the Criminal Justice Complex Jail to work on site cleanup and save the project’s budget as the charge is $4 per day per worker, which is charged since each inmate will need an ankle bracelet.
“We’ll have them out there three days a week getting cleanup work done,” Henson said. “And just throwing this out there as an idea, but if there’s a way we can work something out where we can maybe train some of these inmates to give them an opportunity for a job when they get out and help reduce recidivism, I’d like to see if we could get that worked out.”
Henson did say they’ve already worked out a way to save the project a little money.
“Typically, we’d put temporary fencing up around the whole site, but we asked ourselves why would we put temporary fencing up on the sides and rear of the site and then have to come back later and bid out a project to put permanent fencing up,” Henson said. “So we’ll go ahead and put permanent fencing up on the back and sides and put that on the front toward the end of the project.”
Henson said permanent fencing will be metal with a black vinyl lining.
The architects are drawing up plans to issue the main building package by June 15. It will be at that point they will start the bid process for the project.
“I’ve told [Madison County Finance Director Karen Bell] we’re going to need a big table in their conference room because we’ve got a lot of interest in this project,” Henson said. “I’m excited about that and feel like this will be good for the project.”
But even before that, anyone who drives by within a couple of weeks will be able to see equipment on the site preparing the ground for the construction since maximum price of $1.868 million was approved by the school board unanimously at their meeting last Thursday.
Brandon Shields, email@example.com