Dothan City Schools near end of construction just under the wire

(WTVY News 4)
Published: Aug. 7, 2019 at 11:38 PM CDT
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It is now less than two weeks away from students going back to class in Dothan City Schools.

The summer has been full of construction and rearranging, but it's time to start asking if all the projects will be finished in time.

The Facilities Director Tim Holley has been keeping WTVY updated on the progress about once a month this summer.

He told me those Dothan High, Dothan Preparatory and Honeysuckle would be the stragglers, pushing it right up to the wire.

The wire is fast approaching, and deadline or no deadline, the question remains - will these schools be ready for students?

"Northview is my alma mater, and I'm kind of twisted both ways to see that the school isn't going to be named Northview, but we understand progress needs to be made,” said Jeffery Carroll of J.C. Carroll Construction and Masonry.

Jeffery Carroll has the opportunity to be a part of that progress.

He and his crew are in charge of replacing some of the sidewalks at what will be Dothan High School.

It was surprising to find crews out there this late in the summer, after talking with the facilities director, Tim Holley, in July.

"Our projected finish date for construction is the end of this month and I think we'll be 95-100% at that point,” Holley told WTVY on July 10th.

That extra 5% leaves a little bit of wiggle room for certain projects.

Carroll was supposed to start the sidewalks in June, but didn't wind up getting there until late July.

"When you are trying to do a big construction like this, you take on all those schools at the same time,” said Carroll. “Things kind of get discombobulated, and we were busy too."

Holley repeatedly said Dothan High, Dothan Prep and Honeysuckle would be the schools that may not meet their deadline, but there are still projects happening at other schools.

"Faine and I believe it was Selma had some kitchen renovations going on,” said Holley. “We'll go back and finish up the cafeteria and the kitchen floors with our strip and wax crews once they get out of there."

Also, it's hard not to notice that some of the schools still haven't been rebranded.

"The signage will come down right to the start of school, maybe a day or two into school, but we'll have 90% of the signage done,” said Holley.

A construction worker at Dothan Prep said they still need to pave a few hundred feet of the new drop off road.

Although Holley’s end of July deadline may not have been met, there shouldn't be anything standing in the way of kids starting back to school by the 20th.

"Dothan High, Dothan Prep and Honeysuckle will be finished with everything by the end of next week,” said Holley. “We'll probably be finished with Dothan High and Honeysuckle by the end of this week."

There are a few projects that will still be going on once school starts.

Several schools will be getting new roofs. Those will be getting put on over the next several months, and some of the branding at Dothan Prep and Dothan High will take a few days into school starting.

The projects stayed within the budget of the $15 million bond the board took out at the beginning of the summer.

It did have to allocate $180,000 additional to Dothan Prep, but that money was already set aside for unexpected costs.