Lamar Co. School District working on new maintenance facility

By HASKEL BURNS,

Officials from Fairley Construction in Petal will soon go to work converting the former Sellers Chevrolet building in Purvis into a new maintenance facility for the Lamar County School District.

The measure was approved at last week’s school board meeting, where board members voted unanimously to accept the lowest base bid of $844,433.10 from the construction firm for the process.

“We’re doing away with our old facility in Purvis,” said Tess Smith, superintendent of the Lamar County School District. “This will be our main shop for transportation, and the adjacent building will be used for district facility storage.

“The main reason for the (new location) was the need for a larger shop. We also wanted to get the transportation offices down to Purvis.”

The school district’s bus maintenance and the transportation office will be housed in the main building, which is located on U.S. 11 across from Purvis High School. The location is expected to free up space at the high school, where the old maintenance shop is located.

“The larger facility will help our mechanics and drivers,” Smith said. “It will get our transportation department out of trailers in Oak Grove and free up space there, and it will also free up storage space for technology.

“The old Sellers paint shop will be used for storage by my facilities director, which will free up his current storage building – which is too small – for technology, which will free up space in our gym for better school use.”

Fairley Construction will install a new roof on the facility, along with roll-up doors and a mechanics’ trench.

“With the trench, the men can get up under the buses and work on them that way,” Smith said. “All those things don’t seem big, but they’re very, very costly items.

“And we’ve also got to move our district gas tank and diesel tank over there, and special things have to be built for that, like retaining walls and such. So those are some pretty big-ticket items.”

Landry Lewis Germany Architects of Hattiesburg will oversee the specifications of the project.