D-B construction to be finished by May 31

Rick Wagner • Sep 16, 2018 at 9:30 AM

KINGSPORT — Kingsport City Schools officials have double good news about the Regional Science and Technology Center construction project at Dobyns-Bennett High School.

With the project almost half finished, Steve Trimble, architect with Perkins+Will of Atlanta, and Wes Burleson, project manager for BurWil Construction Inc. of Bristol, Tenn., told the Board of Education that the work should be completed by May 31, 2019. That’s plenty of time to get the addition and new front door to D-B ready to open the first day of school, tentatively set for Aug. 5, 2019. Groundbreaking was Dec. 7, 2017.

In addition, the two also told the school board that soil allowance contingencies for such unknowns as rocks had a budget of $499,600, but so far only $191,938 has been used, leaving $307,662. In addition, they said a change order had a budget of $1,187,741, of which $992,004 is left. 

Burleson gave a timeline, subject to change, of roof construction completed by about Jan. 7, 2019; site work finished by March 22; furnishings put in by April 19; the first floor mostly done by April 25; the second floor by May 23; and the third floor and entire project by May 31.

Trimble said that some observant students had flagged some square columns, thinking they were mistakes since most of the columns are round. However, Trimble said the square columns won’t be seen when the building is finished and that they are square for structural reasons.

D-B Principal Chris Hampton recently took a guided tour of the construction site, and Trimble and Burleson said they would give the school board a tour when the site is closer to its final shape. Burleson said the building should be mostly enclosed before winter weather arrives.

The facility, a triangular-shaped building attached to the iconic 1960s high school, includes outdoor classroom space for robotics and science classes as well as a mini amphitheater, Trimble said. In addition, he said the front of the facility is to provide a new tailgating area for football games in the fall of 2019.

The $20 million-plus project is mostly funded by a Sullivan County $140 million bond issue, which also is paying for the new Sullivan East Middle School and most of the new West Ridge High School; going toward a new Vance Middle School in Bristol, Tenn.; and helping with Johnson City’s renovations of Liberty Bell Middle School.

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