Chris Woods News
This article originally appeared in Lakeland Currents.
During the LSB (Lakeland School Board) meeting tonight (1.13.20), Chris Woods Construction Company was announced as construction manager/contractor for the first high school in Lakeland.
Dr. Ted Horrell, Lakeland School System (LSS) superintendent, told LSB (Lakeland School Board) members he received late-breaking news this afternoon of the decision. A last-minute resolution approving the contractor was added to the agenda and approved unanimously by the LSB.
The new high school wing will open in August 2022 to 9th graders only which would be current 6th graders. That grade would move up one grade each year and would be the first high school graduating class from the new school in May 2026. It will be adjacent to the current Lakeland Middle Preparatory School (LMPS).
Link to Livestream: https://livestream.com/lakeland/events/8960632
Dr. Horrell said LSS worked with partners at Renaissance Group and Dr. Jim Mitchell, Southern Educational Strategies, LLC to review three well qualified firms which applied for the position. “Anyone of them could have done a wonderful job,” said Dr. Horrell. The decision has concurrence from USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Community Facilities Loan Program, said Dr. Horrell. USDA is financing the $40 million loan to build the school.
Chris Woods was construction lead when LMPS was built and then opened in 2017. Thus they are familiar with the site, said Dr. Horrell.
LSB Chair Kevin Floyd asked which factors were considered in selecting Chris Woods. Dr. Horrell said they could save money for LSS, provide safety for children (who will be attending classes at the middle school during construction) and provide good subcontractors, all while continuing school operations.
Vice Chair Laura Harrison asked about the competitiveness of selecting the manager. Dr. Horrell said all three companies had to be vetted by USDA with two rounds of scoring. Mike Terry, senior vice president and partner of Renaissance, said it was a most comprehensive procedure.
LSB Member Jeremy Burnett said he was excited to vote on the construction manager.
Jon Woods, vice president of the company, said it was an honor to win the bid and added, “We will deliver a project that everyone can be proud of.”