Mt. Vernon Register-News

October 2, 2013

MVTHS will proceed on city agreement

By TRAVIS MORSE travis.morse@register-news.com
The Register-News

---- — MT. VERNON — Negotiations continue on the planned intergovernmental agreement to authorize infrastructure work at the site of the new proposed Mt. Vernon Township High School.

MVTHS officials still hope to partner with the City of Mt. Vernon to complete the road and utility improvements, a project estimated at $2.4 million. The new school will be located near the intersection of Wells Bypass and Ambassador roads.

“Certainly, it’s going to be an improvement, not only to benefit the high school project, but (we’ll) offer development opportunities in the rest of the area there,” said Mt. Vernon City Manager Ron Neibert.

The city recently delivered a draft version of the agreement to MVTHS. The document was then presented to FGM Architects and the school’s legal counsel for their input.

Now, school officials hope to have further discussions with the city about the agreement, said Superintendent Michael Smith.

“We’ll have a better timeline after we have our next meeting with the city,” Smith said. “We would hope we could get something finalized as soon as possible. We want to keep everything related to the project moving forward.”

Much of the city’s work on the project would involve a redevelopment of Ambassador Road along the new school’s property and some work at the Ambassador/Wells Bypass intersection.

With the improvements, Ambassador Road would be made into a new concrete road with curb and gutter, storm drains, a sidewalk, and turn lanes, Neibert said. The project would also include installing water and sewer lines.

Even so, Smith said the exact details of what work will be done at the site and who will be responsible are still being discussed. The agreement, he said, is not yet in its final form.

Ambassador Road is under the city’s control while Wells Bypass Road is a county road.

This spring, Jefferson County Highway Department crews replaced a bridge on Wells Bypass near the new school site.

However, at this point, county officials have no no further plans to do infrastructure work for the new high school, said County Engineer Brandon Simmons.

The MVTHS Building Committee will meet again to discuss the new school project at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 15.

Bids are still scheduled to be sent out Oct. 25, with a ground-breaking to be held in January.

The MVTHS Board of Education will likely need to schedule a special meeting later this month to review the bid information before bids are sent out. A date has not yet been set for this meeting.

“(The meeting) is to just get organized and get up to date,” said MVTHS Board President Carl Miller.