Clardy and Bean

Franklin County Director of Schools Stanley Bean, left, presents Construction Adviser Gary Clary with a large, wooden “In God We Trust” plaque as a token of appreciation for his work on the new North and South middle school projects.

Franklin County’s two new middle schools should have the books closed by year’s end, signifying the two projects are completely done, according to Construction Adviser Gary Clardy.

Clardy recently updated the School Board on the new North and South middle school projects’ status and said the last minor details on each school were being completed.

North and South students have been in their respective new schools since the new academic year began on Aug. 5.

Director of Schools Stanley Bean said that Clardy, who hails from Franklin County and is a product of the local school system, has done an outstanding job making the two projects’ construction phases progress seamlessly.

Bean said Clardy’s connection to his home county and his experience of being involved in major school-construction projects in Tennessee added to the ease in how the projects were handled.

Clardy said the school system and others involved in the projects were great to work with and made the work he had to do enjoyable.

“Everyone was wonderful,” he said.

The two new middle schools are being completed under budget, and the County Commission has approved to use some of the money to upgrade the track at Franklin County High School and provide an air-conditioning system for Huntland’s auxiliary gym.

The middle school projects’ budget totals $47.976 million with $46.721 million obligated toward the construction, leaving $1.254 million with only punch-list items remaining to be completed.

The unappropriated funds toward the project total $2.05 million, including about $800,000 in interest earned while the project’s bond money was invested as the project progressed.

The appropriation, coming from the interest proceeds will include between $400,000 and $500,000 for the track and about $200,000 for the air-conditioning project, plus architect fees.

Bean had said that when the current Franklin County High School was built, the administration at the time decided to go with an asphalt track surface which was less expensive than a synthetic rubber surface.

However, it was later deemed to not meet Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association standards because asphalt is a more rigid material.

Synthetic tracks are significantly more forgiving on muscles and joints.

Bean said that because of the asphalt surface, FCHS has been prohibited from hosting competitive track meets.