By Ray King

In a special called meeting that lasted just a few minutes Wednesday, the Pine Bluff City Council’s Development and Planning Committee voted to send legislation approving a contract to tear down the old Southeast School to the full council with a do-pass recommendation.

Council members Bruce Lockett and Steven Mays were present for the meeting, which was held by zoom and Locket explained that Mayor Shirley Washington wanted the committee’s approval on the scope of the $664,000 contract.

The contract is between the city and Failla Contractor’s Inc. of Pine Bluff and  calls for the company to “furnish all labor, materials, and equipment for removal of the old Southeast School located at 2001 S. Ohio St.”

It goes on to require that the company remove the buildings, footings, foundations, floors, private sidewalks, and all parking slabs, and if required, grade the surface.

The demolition is expected to take 90 days from beginning to end with work to begin within two weeks of the date the contractor receives final approval.

William Fells, an assistant to Mayor Washington explained the cost and what the money is going to be used for.

Money to pay for the work is coming from the American Rescue plan and the company will be paid one-third of the total due when 1/3 of the work is completed, another 1/3 when 2/3rd of the work is done, and the remaining 1/3rd when the work is 100 percent complete. What is being called a “mobilization fee” of $25,000 will be due from the first 1/3rd when the equipment is onsite and fencing is erected.