Journey Middle School is on track for final completion by mid-to-late December. And it will likely be millions of dollars under budget as well.
Madison City Board of Education members got that good news in a construction update October 13th from the project's construction manager. Shane Bagwell with Volkert Inc. reported the 170,000 square foot Journey is on track to be about $7.5 million below estimate with a completion date now expected by Dec. 23. The final tab on Midtown Elementary, which opened last year and still had a few punch list items, will be about $750,000 below its projected final budget, he added.
Bagwell said the lower costs are the reality of good timing with bidding, which is now more unpredictable given the market. Board members were pleased with the good news and were informed the budget saving can be rolled over into future projects. Next on the school system's building needs is another new elementary school. Land for that has already been acquired.
Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols reported later in tonight's meeting that enrollment continues to grow in Madison City Schools. Enrollment now stands at 12,391 students - up more than 500 since the school start.
There was other good news from tonight's meeting. Average ACT scores for MCS went up despite a decline nationally and statewide, with Madison City's climbing slightly to 23.7 from 23.5, compared the new 19.8 national average and 18 state average. The Board added another SRO and also approved a higher pay scale for substitutes. Dr. Nichols said the pay adjustments may help ease the difficulty in hiring teacher, lunchroom and custodial substitutes as well as aides. The new daily teacher substitute pay is $90 for noncertified teacher substitutes and $115 for certified teachers. Several proposed policy actions were also introduced.