WEST POINT — The Clay County Board of Supervisors is trying to move forward with the West Clay Agricultural High School renovation project, but bids came in higher than expected Thursday and the board did not select a contractor.
Instead, supervisors took the bids under advisement and will now try to figure out how to fund the endeavor, or whether to advertise for bids again.
The contractor, once selected, will be tasked to fit the building with new heating and air conditioning systems, lighting, wiring and improved interior finishes, among other things. When the renovations are complete, the building would be used as a new voting precinct, but also could be utilized as a public meeting place, supervisors said.
“This building, to me and to the county, is going to be very useful,” District 4 Supervisor Shelton Deanes said.
The county has approximately $133,000 to renovate the two-story building, but the lowest bid submitted was $164,703 for a first-floor renovation, from Legacy Building Company of Starkville. Legacy also bid $131,787 to renovate the second floor of the building.
The second-lowest bid was submitted by O”Brian Construction of West Point. O”Brian bid $181,900 to renovate the first floor and $147,786 for a second-floor renovation.
The most expensive of the seven bids came from Mast Construction of Tupelo. Mast bid $252,000 to renovate the first floor and an additional $187,000 to renovate the second floor.
With even the cheapest bid totaling nearly $300,000 to renovate the entire building, supervisors are considering their options carefully.
“We just have to figure out where we”re going to get that other two-thirds (of the cost) from,” District 2 Supervisor Luke Lummus said.
In other business Thursday, supervisors voted to advertise for bids to replace the roof at the former Daily Times Leader building downtown. Bids for the roofing project will be opened March 24 at 10 a.m.
Deanes also told his fellow supervisors about ongoing beaver dam issues in Bell Creek. The dams are causing the creek to overflow its banks, which at times floods nearby roads, Deanes said.
Deanes plans to contact the county”s beaver control expert to remove the animals and their dams.