Fort Smith School Board approves contractor for $2.5 million work at Ramsey

by Tina Alvey Dale ([email protected]) 1,045 views 

The Fort Smith Public School Board of Education on Wednesday (Oct. 23) approved to hire Fort Smith-based Beshears Construction for a construction project at Ramsey Junior High.

The project, which is expected to cost $2.5 million, will include a redesign of the school’s entrance to include a secure vestibule, move the administration offices and repurpose the current offices to classroom space.

Now that the board has approved to use Beshears Construction for the project, a contract will be negotiated, said Deputy Superintendent Dr. Terry Morawski.

“We will set a maximum price. They know our budget, and that we will not go over,” Morawaski said.

The contract is expected to be signed Friday (Oct. 25). Construction should be completed in time for the start of the 2021 school year. Beshears has worked on FSPS projects in the past, most notably the fine arts building at Northside High School, and has worked with MAHG Architecture, the architect on record for the project, said George Watts with Hoar Program Management (HPM) of Dallas, the project manager hired by the school district.

“This really falls in the sweet spot for Beshears,” he said.

Fort Smith voters approved a 5.558 millage increase for Fort Smith public schools in 2018. The new rate is expected to raise $120.822 million, $35 million of which will go toward district-wide safety improvements.

Other noteworthy items to be funded with the millage is a new $13.724 million Career and Technology Center featuring specialized lab spaces and classrooms for courses in healthcare, information technology, and manufacturing and additions and improvements to both Northside and Southside high schools which will include new freshman academies and new gyms at both.