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Alabama Building Commission Halts Pisgah Gym Renovations

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PISGAH, Ala. (WHNT) -- A construction project in Jackson County is on hold because the school system might not have followed the ABC.

The Alabama Building Commission shot down work at Pisgah High School for violations of state rules and regulations.

ABC director of technical staff Katherine Lynn shared with WHNT News 19 a Stop Work letter sent to superintendent Kenneth Harding.

The letter ordered "all work on the renovation of the Pisgah High School gymnasium is to stop immediately."

Pisgah has two gymnasiums.

A newer one is used for basketball and other events, but Cooley Gymnasium is still home for volleyball matches and some P.E. classes.

Cooley Gymnasium does not have air conditioning, and in fall 2010 Pisgah High School officials applied for a $50,000 grant from Clorox as part of the Power a Brighter Future Program.

Their proposal in the competition was to renovate the 1986 gym, but despite a top 10 finish in online voting, Pisgah fell just shy of the votes needed to win prize money.

Any public works project exceeding $50,000 must advertise and accept sealed bids from contractors, but according to the ABC, the Jackson County Schools system didn't do that.

The letter to Harding said "our records indicate that project has not been submitted to or approved by the Building Commission and the building is undergoing a major renovation."

Lynn went on to write "no work shall take place on this project until the plans have been properly prepared by a full professional team, the plans have been submitted and approved for compliance with the state building code and the director notifies the owner that work may resume."

Superintendent Harding told WHNT News 19 the Board of Education is preparing a statement to release at a later date.

He described the beginning of construction work as "piecemeal" and said they are still figuring out specifics.