Current Building Status: March 2023
As you read through this article, if questions come to mind, please feel free to reach out to me for clarification.
The building process including the two referendums run in attempt to fund the project has been a long difficult progression. The tasks associated with the current project started in December of 2019 and will continue through August of 2024.
The most recent efforts put forth were to pin down a general contractor to complete the construction and destruction. As I noted in an earlier article the first effort on December 28th did not leave us in a spot to move forward with a general contractor due to cost.
The district refused all bids at that time and restructured the work to be done.
HSR worked with the staff here to review, and modify the scope of the work in an attempt to reach a plan and scope that could be afforded with available funds. The scope was designed to align with the wishes of the community and the intent of the question that was proposed for the referendum.
The new scope was put out to bid and the bids were open on February 28, 2023. The cost was still over the available funding. Even though the scope was reduced by about 8200 square feet the lowest bid was still about 1.8 million over funds coming available from the referendum.
Again the team from HSR worked with district staff to further modify the plan. We ended up reducing the scope by the following midifications.
- The district will not remove a portion of the 1938 building – this is the taller two story section of the building adjacent to the original 1921 three story building.
- The district will not remodel the upper commons to become a new library space
- The district will not remodel the current library to become three spaces (2 special needs spaces and a lounge)
- The district will not carry out various smaller projects that were to be completed with the interest earnings
HSR reached out to the company with the low bid, Empire Construction Company, to discuss options to lower costs. Empire Construction Company has identified ways to save around $550,000 without compromising quality. As of the typing of this article further options are being reviewed to further reduce the cost.
Even though the project is not the scope of work that was originally envisioned it is still a significant amount of work and upgrade to the facilities. The following items are still included in the scope of work.
- 8 new classrooms connecting the ag building to the main building
- the new office space
- a set of new restrooms and an intervention room (where the current office sits)
- a bus lane for loading and unloading
- a secure entry
- a new drop-off lane for families
- new parking area located where the current baseball diamond sits
- storm water management
- new electrical service
- Removal of the 1921 section of the building (3 story building)
- Removal and replacement of the floor in the lower level of the 1938 portion of the building
- new fire alarm system
- new PA system
- upgraded kitchen facilities
Likely you noted that the savings identified by Empire Construction Company did not equal the difference in the bid and the amount of monies available through the referendum. The following are financial adjustments made by the district to allow the project to move forward.
- the interest earnings will be used for the project, no longer devoted to alternate/side projects
- the district will borrow around $850,000 which will roughly maintain our current debt service from the revenue limit (an average of around $79,000 per year)
- Empire and HSR will work to find savings of around $550,000 or more.
- The kitchen improvements will be completed by the excess funds in Fund 50.
The process has been challenging for everyone involved but in the end the district will have significant upgrades to our facilities, including additional space, significant safety enhancements, and aesthetically pleasing features. I am hopeful the community will appreciate the work.
Cell: 608 234-1581