The Colonial Beach Town Council voted to appropriate the remaining $756,500 needed to fund the building of the new Colonial Beach Elementary School. Five members of the council voted yes with Steve Cirbee abstaining. Burkett Lyburn was absent due to work requirements.
With a total cost of $9,265,500 the new elementary school will hold up to 400 students from pre-kindergarten to seventh grade. On average in the United States, a new elementary school built in 2014 cost $26.5 million and held up to 600 students according to School Planning & Management magazine.
Questions over what was included in the original bids from Southwood, RRMM, and Skanska, were asked by council members, Steve Cirbee and Bill Dellar. Neither of the men were on the council at the time the original bids and the awarding of the contract took place.
School Board Chair Tim Trivett, did question Cirbee being involved in the discussion as he is currently in a lawsuit with the school board over work done on the modular units. At the last regular council meeting, Town Attorney Andrea Erard also mentioned the possibility of a conflict of interest due to the ongoing suit.
The bond, or loan, that is covering the majority of the cost of the school was agreed upon by the 2015 town council. The remainder of the funding, the $765,500, was set to come from the town purchasing the 315 Douglas Avenue building that is the current Town Hall, and from the sale of school properties.