Capital project enters Phase 3; athletic upgrades on indefinite hold

As the “Building the Future, Restoring the Past” capital project enters its third and final phase, school officials want to be sure that all of the educational and building improvements are completed in the $15.5 million plan.

Because some construction bids came in higher than estimated, there is a need to cut back on part of the project.

To that end, the district has suspended all future work on the junior-senior high school athletic fields. That will mean not adding three feet of topsoil to the baseball and soccer fields, not relocating the softball field and not building the concession stand, estimated at $300,000. These changes are in addition to the earlier eliminations of the artificial infields and addition of field lights.

“Instruction comes first and anything related to instruction and the daily use by our students and staff should be the first priority of our district,” said Board of Education President Ernie Clapper.

“Despite our best efforts to contain costs, the project bids came in higher than we expected and the district rejected many of those bids. The district was informed of what various aspects of the project should cost, with the scope creep –  the unexpected expenditures one you get into a renovation project and some underestimated costs which where provided to the district by our architectural team – the district has decided to pull back on the field work.”

Superintendent Jon Peterson said the school district is moving ahead with construction projects that are in Phase 3 of the capital project, which was approved by the community in January 2016.

There are now three bid packages – general construction, plumbing and theatrical – that are due back from prospective contractors by Nov. 22. The rest of the instructional items are included in these three bid packages.

Clapper said that some of those suspended athletic field items may be rebid later this fall, once the school district is sure that all of the instruction- and building-related items will be able to be completed.

According to Board of Education and Facilities Committee member Aaron Flynn, there is still an ambitious number of items to be completed in the capital project:

At the Jr.-Sr. High School:

  • Renovate the art and Family and Consumer Sciences classrooms
  • Renovations to the weight room, Distance Learning and Project Lead the Way classrooms as well as library and main office
  • Auditorium upgrades, including new lighting, video capabilities and energy efficient fixtures
  • Create a security vestibule and relocate the main office and library
  • Create a secure vestibule for entering the District Office
  • Install a pass-key system and provide fob access to two entry doors
  • Upgrade the security, fire and emergency alarms and systems
  • Replace the public address system and the clock/bell system
  • Upgrade the sound system in the gymnasium
  • Replace sinks, faucets, storm piping in the storage room and ball/gate valves as needed
  • Replace the water softener
  • Auditorium stage flooring
  • Interior wall damage repair, including cracked plaster and damaged corners
  • Replace chalkboards and tackboards in the original 1938 wing
  • Acoustical ceiling replacement
  • Add a receiving area on the east end of the building
  • Installation of the exterior digital sign

At the Elementary School:

  • Renovate main office and create a secure vestibule
  • Upgrade security features including a pass-key system
  • Replace the public address and notification systems
  • Replace original building doors and hardware
  • Upgrade corridor floor
  • Renovate north and south wing boys and girls bathrooms
  • Renovate small classroom bathrooms
  • Replace the glass transoms in the corridor
  • Acoustical ceiling replacement
  • Replace roll-up shades
  • Replace gate valves as needed

A lot of work done so far

To date, about $9.5 million of the $15.5 million project has been completed, said Peterson. The improvement work began in earnest in April 2016. The completed work includes the following:

  • Replaced Septic Main at the Elementary School
  • Grease Interceptor at the Elementary School
  • Paved Access Road around the Elementary School
  • New playground at the Elementary School
  • Roof replacement at the Elementary School
  • New Windows as needed at the Elementary School
  • New Windows or jamb liners as needed at the Jr.-Sr. High School
  • Unit-Ventilators at the Elementary School
  • Unit-Ventilators at the Jr.-Sr. High School
  • Wireless Infrastructure at both schools
  • Field Lights at the Jr.-Sr. High School
  • Boilers (2) at the Elementary School

In addition, there is much work to be completed by the end of October or early November:

  • Field Improvements (drainage, orientation, natural turf) at the Elementary School on the baseball, soccer (2 fields) and softball fields, anticipated use in Spring 2018
  • Roof at the Jr.-Sr. High School
  • Field improvements at the Jr.-Sr. High School initiated (drainage, tree
    removal, electric, water and septic lines installed)
  • HVAC Controls at the Elementary School
  • Boilers (2) at the Jr.-Sr. High School
  • HVAC Controls at the Jr.-Sr. High School