The school board this week had their first look at detailed drawings, so called design development plans, for renovating the high school. But, along with that look, they were told that construction estimates are currently $200,000 over target.
During the presentation at an unusual 8 PM Monday night meeting, the school board was told because of the projected price tag, the school district’s architect and consultant will be looking at alternatives to keep costs in line.
Keith Michel, Senior Project Manager with Forma Construction, hired to oversee design and construction, said the $200,000 number, "is within our comfort level at this stage.”
Michel stressed that the biggest concern is the projected escalating cost of construction as the construction market heats up. “We trying to forecast…and to make adjustments to match market trends.”
Architect Kevin Oremus, with Hutteball & Oremus Architecture of Kirkland, told the board, “We need to make some hard choices,” adding that they will identify alternative pieces that could be done in the future.
One of those items is a concrete amphitheater, now apparently off the project list.
School Superintendent Dr Mark Wenzel assured the board, “We’re spending our money wisely.”
The renovation project is expected to cost $89.8 million. Work includes 60 percent new construction and 40 percent renovation.
Most of the funding, about $57 million, is for new classrooms, a commons area and library to be built on what is now War Memorial Field. Brodniak Hall and music room upgrades will add around $10.6 million. The AHS gym renovation would cost about $11 million. Rice Field upgrades, now under construction, add about $9.9 million.
More precise cost estimates weren’t discussed during the public portion of the meeting, but the discussion did include the cost to renovate Brodniak Hall.
Drew Phillips, an estimator with consultant Forma Construction, “The theater is a very complex project and is probably the most expensive single piece” of the renovation. But, he assured the school board, “It will be fantastic.”
The current plan calls for plans to be 90% by early next year so contracts can go out for bidding in March, 2017.