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Work at former Booker T. Washington School moves forward

Progress continues at the former Booker T. Washington School, now being transformed into the McKinney Arts Center for the Town of Jonesborough.
At a meeting last week, members of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved several bids related to the renovation project.
Plans for a new HVAC system moved ahead with the BMA’s acceptance of the lowest bidder for the project.
The HVAC system was originally brought before the BMA last month for approval after the initial bids were received. Town leaders then looked at ways to cut costs and the project was rebid using only natural gas as the heat source and allowing bidders to submit cost-cutting alternatives.
“We came up with better bids the second time than the first,” Mayor Kelly Wolfe said.
On Dec. 10, BMA members approved accepting Quality Temperature Control’s low bid of $115,000 for the HVAC system.
The BMA also authorized Wolfe to negotiate a lower cost with Quality Temperature Control so long as that reduction doesn’t change the scope of the project.
Wolfe was already hard at work by the time of the meeting looking for ways to reduce the overall cost of the new system.
He said he intended to remove plans for an air balance certification since most of the rooms in the facility have a separate system. That, he said, would eliminate $2,500 from the overall cost.
He also is going to look into downsizing units in classrooms that he said do not need to be as large as currently proposed.
Wolfe will also consider removing a separate office unit for another $4,500 in savings.
“I’d like to get this down to $90,000,” Wolfe said.
BMA members also approved a bid from City Electric for $15,150 for electrical supplies associated with the McKinney Center. The electrical equipment and materials are mainly to handle the HVAC system. The panel and breakers are expected to be delivered in two weeks.
Finally, BMA members approved a bid of $10,400 from Barnard Roofing for a membrane roof for the addition to the center.
All three projects will be funded through the existing McKinney Center capital outlay note. As of Nov. 12, nearly $375,000 remained in the note.