Capital Improvement Projects: Overview, Next Steps
Renderings of proposed construction projects at Mountain Brook Junior High, Crestline Elementary, Brookwood Forest Elementary, and Mountain Brook High School.
Feb. 1, 2021 — Below is a timeline of the Mountain Brook Schools capital improvement projects.
September 2017: Mountain Brook Schools hired an architecture firm to audit each school, all of which are at least 50 years old. The audit revealed MBS needed to make capital improvements costing between $31 million and $87 million.
August 2018: MBS formed a 28-member community task force to assess the district’s spending and recommend actions it could take to pay for the capital improvements. The task force, Mountain Brook Board of Education, and Mountain Brook City Council determined an increase in the city’s ad valorem tax rate could help finance the projects.
February 2019: Mountain Brook City Council approved the school district’s request to hold a tax referendum to raise the city’s ad valorem tax rate by 10 mills.
September 2019: Mountain Brook residents voted in favor of a 10-mill ad valorem tax increase that was projected to generate an additional $6 million in annual revenue for the school district.
December 2019: Mountain Brook Board of Education hired Brasfield & Gorrie General Contractors as construction manager for the capital improvement projects.
February 2020: With guidance from Brasfield & Gorrie, the Mountain Brook Board of Education hired three architects to design renovations across the school district: B. Group Architecture, Inc. for Mountain Brook High School, TURNERBATSON for Mountain Brook Junior High, and Goodwyn Mills Cawood for the four elementary schools.
March 2020: Mountain Brook Board of Education hired Raymond James and Stifel to underwrite the capital improvement projects.
October 2020: Each architecture firm presented its schematic designs to the Mountain Brook Board of Education. There will be three major, new construction projects — one at MBHS, one at MBJH, and another at Brookwood Forest Elementary — along with extensive renovations at Cherokee Bend Elementary, Crestline Elementary, and Mountain Brook Elementary. An overview of the work can be found here. The Board approved the designs and directed the underwriters to move forward in securing bond issues to fund the projects.
The project underwriters are in the process of securing approximately $75 million in bond issues and should have them in the coming weeks. Additionally, the Mountain Brook Board of Education will award bids for each project. MBJH will bid in February; MBHS and Brookwood Forest will bid in March; and the other three elementary schools will bid in April. The bids are staggered to avoid saturating the marketplace and allow contractors time to bid on multiple projects.
Projects will begin on every campus at the conclusion of the 2020-2021 school year. That includes breaking ground on the three major projects at MBJH, MBHS, and Brookwood Forest. Cherokee Bend, Crestline, and Mountain Brook Elementary will see the following work completed this summer and additional work in ensuing summers.
Cherokee Bend: Cafeteria renovation and nearby restroom renovations
Crestline: Auditorium, roof, HVAC renovations; potential construction start on a new gymnasium
MBE: New canopies, carpet, and paint; administrative and entrance area safety renovations; outside staircase renovation; restroom renovations.
"We're eager to embark on this series of projects and sincerely appreciate our community's support," MBS Superintendent Dr. Dicky Barlow said. "The planned work meets each school’s needs that were identified during the facilities audit and will enable our district to continue providing students with a high-quality education.”
This article appeared in the Feb. 1 Mountain Brook Board of Education Newsletter.