Construction halted on multi million dollar Hopkins Co. tech cen - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Construction halted on multi million dollar Hopkins Co. tech center

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The Hopkins County Board of Education has decided to stop construction at the site of the troubled Career and Tech Center because of more settlement issues in the soil.

A year ago construction came to a halt after crews first noticed the problem. 

It's been one too many problems for the tech center, and now this multi million dollar building will be torn down.

"We've researched thoroughly, we've used the leading experts in the country, and gathered opinions and tried to find solutions and have just reached the point where it's not going to be fiscally responsible," said Assistant Superintendent Steve Gilliam.

Recently crews found an additional two to three inches of settlement on the north end of the site and the work needed to fix the problem would have cost an extra two million dollars.

"It had settled to the point that they were no longer confident that they could lift the northern third of the building," said Gilliam.

The board says they understand this has been a difficult process but they want to move forward with a new site for the benefit of the students.

"One of the main reasons we remain so committed to this project is because there's such an emphasis on the state and national level on getting students prepared for college and careers and we just see the career and tech center as a good way to do that locally," said Lori Harrison, Hopkins Co. Communications Specialist.

Just over six million dollars has been spent on this project originally estimated to cost $15 million. Assistant Superintendent Steve Gilliam is confident the overall cost won't increase. He says they filed a civil suit against the engineering company in hopes of recovering costs from the settlement issues and they're re-using resources.

"We'll begin the process of disassembling the steel on our current site because we can re-use that in the new site," said Gilliam.

Right now the board says the next step they're taking is working with a few undisclosed property owners to select a different site.

School officials say they expect demolition of the current site to begin sometime over the next month, and hope to start construction on a new site next spring. 

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