After years of community debate and indecision, on Friday afternoon at 3:12 pm EST the Clarke County School Board executed a contract with Shockey and Sons, Inc. of Winchester, Virginia to build a new county high school.
“I’ve never been so thrilled to spend so much money in my life” said School Board member Emily Rhodes (Buckmarsh).
According to representatives from Shockey present for the contract signing, there are many reasons to believe that the construction project will result in a superior high school facility.
Shockey chief executive officer Don Copper said “During good economic times construction companies are always busy and don’t always have resource availability when they need it. Right now the construction industry is not busy and has plenty of resources to put the best people on the job.”
Asked how Shockey was able to deliver a bid price that was $7M under Clarke County’s budget Cooper replied “We’re wondering about that ourselves. Sometimes things just line up perfectly.”
Shockey has an excellent reputation for quality and reliability throughout the Northern Shenandoah Valley and constructed six new high schools last year alone. Shockey and Sons also built Clarke County’s existing high school in 1987.
Howard Shockey, the company’s founder is a resident of Clarke County. Long-time Shockey employee Bill Thomas has been designated as project manager for the contract.
“It’s an exhilarating moment” said School Board Chairperson Robina Bouffault. “A five woman board has achieved the long-awaited school. Now we will look at how to use the extra money to address the elementary school and add the eight additional classrooms to the new building.
“We’ve been told by several members of the Board of Supervisors to be frugal” Bouffault added.
Shockey CEO Cooper said that the official date of commencement for the project is July 26th but some preliminary work will commence sooner. “We’re planning on doing some initial surveying and cutting a construction entrance for the site prior to the official start date.”
At the conclusion of the contract signing Cooper told the School Board “Clarke County is right down the road from our hometown and this is the perfect project for us.”
“Does that mean that this is going to be an example of how a school should be built?” replied Bouffault.
“Absolutely” replied Cooper.
The School Board unanimously approved a scheduled payment of $86K to project architect Crabtree Rohrbaugh Associates and a payment of $19K to consultants Gannett Fleming and Urban for last minute site plan changes to accommodate Virginia Department of Transportation site modifications.