Isle of Wight approves $2.5 million for Hardy Elementary water

Published 6:37 pm Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Isle of Wight County supervisors, on Oct. 20, approved a bid of just under $2.5 million from Chesapeake-based Peters & White Construction Co. for the building of a water main that will serve the new Hardy Elementary School and surrounding areas.

According to County Administrator Randy Keaton, Isle of Wight received three bids for Phase 2 of the project, of which Peters & White was the lowest, though all three came back higher than what the county had anticipated. Bids are “on the street right now” for Phase 1, Keaton said.

Phase 1 will involve the installation of a 12-inch water main from the intersection of Thomas Street and Luter Drive inside Smithfield’s town limits to Berry Hill Road on the opposite side of the Pagan River. Phase 1 will entail using a directional drill to carry the water main across the river.

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Phase 2 will extend the line from Berry Hill Road to a 20-foot-by-40-foot booster station off Old Stage Highway, and from there to Hardy, where a 500,000-gallon water tower is under construction.

The $2.5 million bid is “substantially higher than what we anticipated for all of the water line project,” including phases 1 and 2, and the pump station, Keaton said. Peters & White, he said, was able to achieve a lower cost than the other bidders by proposing to use polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, piping instead of the more expensive ductile iron.

“We’re working on identifying funds to pay for the other phase,” Keaton said.

The project was originally intended to be funded primarily with a portion of the $7.2 million Isle of Wight had been allocated from the American Rescue Plan Act, a federal $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. Smithfield put $800,000 of its own ARPA funds toward the project last November.

For Phase 2, “we’ve had to move some money around to cover this, but we have the funding to cover this in place now,” Keaton said.

Construction of the new school, which will be modeled after Florence Bowser Elementary in Suffolk and house nearly 900 students in grades K-4, is slated to be complete by mid-2023.