At a meeting on Tuesday, the Aiken County Board of Education approved the bid of the H.G. Reynolds Company in Aiken to build a new addition to North Augusta High School.

School District administrators had opened bids for the Phase I project, with Reynolds offering the lowest base bid at $10,357,000.

However, the administration pursued further discussion on the bids before recommending the Reynolds firm.

During public participation at the meeting, David McGhee – a North Augusta City Councilman and the manager for local company Sitec LLC – told Board members that, with Reynolds as a county firm, he had no objections to it getting the project.

However, McGhee does have concerns that too many of the sub-contractors are located out of the area and will take tax money away from Aiken County.

The new addition will provide new classrooms and reduce overcrowding in the existing buildings. The project also will eliminate the need for some mobile classrooms.

A similar addition at Aiken High School has been completed, and classes are underway.

School Board members, District administrators and the Aiken High faculty will provide a formal dedication ceremony inside the new facility on Monday at 5:30 p.m.

On the following day – Tuesday, Nov. 19 – the Board will meet at the District office, 1000 Brookhaven Drive, for a budget workshop at 6 p.m. The meeting will continue plans to bring more information to the Board members about funding related to District departments and programs.

In other business:

The Board agreed to implement a pilot program at North Augusta High that would allow a class to try out “Build Your Own Device.” While the District is using technology devices to augment instruction, this project would allow students to bring their own devices for interactive and virtual learning in the classroom.

Senior writer Rob Novit is the Aiken Standard's education reporter and has been with the newspaper since September 2001. He is a native of Walterboro and majored in journalism at the University of Georgia.