TIFTON -- The Tift County Board of Education called a special meeting at noon Wednesday to announce the new contractor for the new primary school.

The board named Quillian Powell as the contractor for the primary school.

"We're really pleased with the number of bids and also the prices the bids came in," said superintendent Harold Abbott.

Bids opened Oct. 23, and Quillian Powell was the lowest bidder out of the 10 bids the board of education received.

During the meeting, Abbott said the project should cost over $7 million, down from the $10 million projected in August. The project will be partly funded through SPLOST dollars.

The new primary school, slated to open in 2003, will be located off Carpenter Road. The primary school will bring the county closer to meeting Gov. Roy Barnes' education reform mandates which include lower student to teacher ratios.

In related news, the board selected Colquitt EMC as the primary school's electrical provider.

Redistricting was also briefly discussed. Board president Richard Golden held a Tift County map and explained to board members their how their current districts may change.

Many current district lines will change slightly. Some grew geographically and other districts areas shifted, based upon population growth.

"It's a pretty good map," he said, adding that changes have been made during the past few days.

The re-evaluation of district lines on the county and state levels are mandated every 10 years when the census results are completed. In Tift County there are six voting districts. BOE members and county representatives share the same district lines. Currently, no local changes have been made since state congressional districts are still being set.

To contact reporter Marie Arrington, call 382-4321, ext. 206.

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