New rest home for Jones County

June 10th, 2011

May 11th, 2011

ELLISVILLE — A Tuesday morning groundbreaking in Ellisville kicked-off a long-awaited construction project that will create a more up-to-date and spacious rest home facility for seniors residing at Jones County Rest Home.

Members of the South Central Regional Medical Center’s Board of Trustees and Economic Development Agency of Jones County, elected officials, rest home employees and contractors were on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility.  The new 44,000-square-foot nursing home is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2012. Once completed, the $10 million facility will look like SCRMC’s Comfort Care Nursing Center on West Drive in Laurel.  Chris Albritton Construction of Laurel is the contractor for the project and the project is expected to take about 18 months to complete

‘Community safe room’ bid accepted

January 20th, 2011

LAUREL — The Jones County Board of Supervisors awarded the bid for the construction of a Federal Emergency Management 361 Storm Shelter to Chris Albritton Construction Co. during Tuesday’s meeting at the Jones County Courthouse in Laurel.

The Laurel construction company submitted the lowest bid for the storm shelter which will be designed to withstand hurricane and tornado-force winds and the debris caused by such storms.

In earlier meetings, County Engineer Ronnie Clark described the “community safe room” as a concrete box designed to protect people from 250-miles-per-hour winds. The safe room will be designed to meet FEMA’s 361 performance standards and will accommodate up to 1,000 people for up to 36 hours.

“We recommend that the construction contract be awarded to the lowest bidder, contingent of the pending congruence from FEMA,” said Clark.

Chris Albritton submitted a based bid of $2,227,000.  The Jones County Emergency Management Agency received a $2.4 million grant from FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program for the construction of the shelter. The grant assists states and local communities in implementing long-term hazard mitigation projects.

The $2.4 million represents 75 percent of the estimated construction cost. The  overall project will cost an estimated $3.2 million, with $802,500 provided by the county. The shelter will be located on the sight of the now defunct WAML Radio Station on Ellisville Boulevard near the fairgrounds.

Bond: Groundbreaking Held for New Middle School

January 13th, 2011

April 24 2009

Jackson Public Schools held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday, April 22, for the new Henry J. Kirksey Middle School. The event took place at the new school site at 651 James M. Davis Drive across the street from North Jackson Elementary School.

Construction of the school is being funded by the November 2006 bond referendum. Students from nearby schools, including North Jackson Elementary, Chastain, Northwest and Powell middle schools, and Callaway High participated in the ceremony. An ensemble from the Callaway High choir performed, and two students each from North Jackson Elementary and Chastain, Northwest and Powell middle schools participated in the groundbreaking and the planting of a tree in memory of the school’s namesake, the late Senator Henry J. Kirksey, a Civil Rights activist and pioneer in Mississippi who died in 2005.

Project Summary:

  • Total Area: 84,000 Sq. Ft.
  • Enrollment Capacity: 400 Students
  • 14 Classrooms, Art Room, Choral Room, and Band Room
  • Gymnatorium, Speach/Hearing Room, Health Room, and Library/Media Center
  • Boys’ and Girls’ Athletic Facilities
  • Design Professionals: M3A Architects
  • Construction Company: Chris Albritton Construction Company, Inc.
  • Program Managers: Jacobs/Preferred Management Group
  • Cost: $15.6 Million
  • Projected Completion Date: June 2010

The 2006 successful bond referendum is currently funding construction of the Gladys Noel Bates/Thomas Cardozo elementary and middle school complex in south Jackson and classroom additions at Wilkins, Marshall, North Jackson, McLeod and Casey elementaries. JPS expects to announce in the near future the date for the groundbreaking ceremony for a replacement school for Peeples Middle School.

Grounds broken on ninth-grade academy

January 13th, 2011

June 17, 2008

Grounds broken on ninth-grade academy

By Ida Brown / senior staff writer

In August 2009, ninth-graders in the Meridian Public School District will start a new school year not only on a new campus, but also in a new state-of-the art building.

To commemorate this education milestone, a groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday morning at the site designated for the ninth-grade academy: the grove area on the Meridian High School campus.

“We’re here today because of the generosity of the citizens of the city of Meridian in passing the bond issue a year ago,” said MPSD Board President Fred Wile. “And building a ninth-grade building is one of the cornerstones of that bond issue.”

This will be the first new school building constructed in the district in more than 40 years.

“There are few districts in this state that have the ninth grade not located on the high school campus,” Wile said. “Starting a year from now, this district will join all others with ninth-graders being part of the high school campus. This academy will give our ninth-graders an opportunity they have not had in the past – transition to the high school, with the extra care and attention that it takes to make that transition and to continue staying as students until they graduate.”

Pryor & Morrow Architects, which has offices in Columbus and Tupelo, was chosen to oversee the project. The firm’s work includes the redesign of the Marks Rothenberg building.

The academy will be located across from one of the campus’ more modern looking buildings, the auditorium. According to Wile, the architects focused on how to make this building architecturally enhanced, but fit in with the high school. In March 2007, a $19.5 million bond was approved for the Meridian Public School District. Of that amount, $10.2 million was designated for construction of the ninth-grade academy on the MHS campus.

Last week, trees were cut at the academy site and surrounding area. According to Chris Albritton of Albritton Construction Company, contractor, once the trees and other debris have been removed and the area excavated, construction work – concrete pouring, building foundation going up – will get under way in the next 30 to 45 days.

With the ninth grade located at the high school campus, there also will be changes at the local school district’s other campuses, particularly Kate Griffin Junior High School.

“The district and the city of Meridian are beginning conversations on what can be done with Kate Griffin, how it can be best used,” Wile said. “It’s in an important part of town and it’s a good building, but it has served its life as a school building. As a community, we need to come up with a use for that building that enhances that part of town.”

The district plans to incorporate the eighth grade into the middle schools. Thus, middle school will include sixth, seventh, and eighth grades, and will be at Carver, Magnolia and Northwest, Wile said.

Justice Court building shaping up

January 13th, 2011

By Charlotte Graham, countyreporter@laurelleadercall.com Laurel Leader-Call The Laurel Leader-Call Tue Nov 23, 2010, 10:07 AM CST

ELLISVILLE — Jones County’s new Justice Court building is beginning to take shape on Highway 11 near Ellisville.

“We are pretty much on schedule with the Justice Court building,” said County Engineer Ronnie Clark. “The steel structure components have come in and have been erected. The weather has been cooperating and we are pretty much where we need to be at his point.”

Construction of the 10,000-square-foot facility began shortly after the bid was awarded to Chris Albritton Construction Co. of Laurel in June. The company submitted the lowest bid for the $1.5 million project.

Clark said that once completed, the facility will house the justice court, including the offices of the three justice court judges and their staff.

“This building will take the place of rented property where the justice court is currently located in downtown Laurel,” said Clark. “The justice court is currently operating out of the old Kress Building in downtown.”

The projected completion date for the justice court building is May 2011.

Andy Dial, president of the Jones County Board of Supervisors, said he is pleased with the progress that’s being made on the building. “I just wish we could speed things up,” he said. “This is something we’ve been trying to get done for quite a while.”

MGCCC Expansion Planned

January 13th, 2009

Plans are in place for a new state-of-the-art, $2.7 million academic facility at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s George County Center in Lucedale. The two-story, 13,750 square-foot building will feature a 120 seat lecture hall, a student lounge area, three academic classrooms and one art classroom, along with science and computer labs and a large administrative area. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new facility took place March 31.

“We’re proud of the progress made in George County,” said Arlie Howell, Gulf Coast Board of Trustees secretary. “We’re also impressed with the improvements that this new facility will bring to this center.”

Chris Albritton Construction Co. will build the new facility, which was designed by Guild Hardy Architects.

“The college is excited with the growth this new classroom building will bring to the George County Center,” said Dr. Mary Graham, vice president of the college’s Perkinston Campus and George County Center. “The citizens of George County will certainly benefit from new offerings that will be provided as a result of this state-of-the-art facility.”

Currently, the George County Center offers both postsecondary and secondary career programs, including Cosmetology, Electric Lineman Training, Office Systems Technology, and Practical Nursing and Surgical Technology.