A master plan for the remainder of the property where Sims Academy of Innovation and Technology is on Austin Road could be complete by August 2018 and construction on a new high school at that property could be ready for students by fall of 2020.

The Barrow County Board of Education will vote Tuesday on hiring an architectural firm and a civil engineering company for that project.

Recommended are Cunningham Forehand Matthews and Moore to be the architect and Breedlove Land Planning to be the civil engineer.

Barrow County has two high schools – Winder-Barrow and Apalachee. WBHS has more than 2,000 students and Apalachee has almost 1,800.

Joe Perno, assistant superintendent for system operations, said the school district owns 50 to 60 acres on the property. An adjacent property for Lanier Technical College is on a separate 20-acre site, which the county schools donated.

Perno said the work would have to be done in phases so the district can finance the school. He said a new, fully equipped high school would cost “$50- to $60-million.”

The two firms, if approved, would work together to design the master plan. Perno said Breedlove, which has done much of the grading work for CFMM projects, could start site preparation at the Sims property next summer.

Construction on the new school could start in the fall and school operations would begin in the fall of 2020. Perno told the board that both firms have done work for the district before.

He said CFMM did the designs for Bethlehem and County Line elementary schools and renovations and additions for Auburn, Holsenbeck and Statham elementary schools. He said the firm has designed more than a dozen high schools.

Breedlove worked on all of the above projects plus Apalachee High School.

Perno’s department requested proposals about firms and received 11 for the architectural work and six for civil engineering.

See more in the Nov. 29 edition of the Barrow News-Journal.

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