Archive for Wednesday, November 21, 2001

School’s timeline shows plans to open in 2003

November 21, 2001

With the bond issue passed, the Eudora school district is ready to move forward with the construction of a new high school. Representatives from DLR Group, which designed the building, presented a proposed timeline for the project at the Nov. 15 board of education meeting.

Andy Prosser of Manning and Prosser Construction, Inc. said the plan showed how the process would go from beginning excavations to the opening of the doors.

"We're going to have to have some contractors on board pretty quick to make that happen," he said.

Although students will move into the building in fall 2003, areas like the gymnasium may not be completed, but critical areas like classrooms will be ready for students and teachers.

"I know that's not ideal as far as ups and downs in a school," Anderson said. "That's as complete as we can get with this schedule."

Anderson and French referred to the schedule as "fast track," meaning work can be bid out before all decisions are finalized. That means a lot of decision must be made in the field.

"Instead of being sequential, it's moving in several directions at the same time," Anderson said. "It's a benefit to the school district to do it this way."

DLR architect Jim French, with whom the district has worked on the project, said he hoped to have the design finalized by Dec. 31 with the help of Eudora High School Principal Dale Sample, who met with his staff this week to discuss the design. In March and April, when the amount of rain is unpredictable, French said contractors might have to take advantage of a two-week buffer period built into the schedule.

March is a great time to get started on digging work, Anderson said. But perhaps the most anticipated mark of progress will come in April 2003 with the topping out ceremony, which will celebrate the school's enclosure by a roof and walls, allowing interior work like studding to take place.

Earlier this week the district closed on the land for for a little more than $850,000 for the high school south of K-10 .

To avoid irregular board meetings, French said some school districts opted to allow the superintendent to make decisions affecting changes up to a certain dollar amount.

"Our intent is to keep you as up to date as we possibly can," French said. "When we get into construction there may be some change orders we can't wait three to four weeks until the next board meeting. A job that needs to move this quickly, we may need some of that flexibility."

The board discussed further the position of construction supervisor or manager, a person who could be on hand to make such decisions.

"I don't want to get to the point where we have to have special board meetings each time there's a change over a certain dollar amount," said board member Kenneth Massey.

Having special meetings with a construction supervisor would be superfluous, said fellow board member Brenda Clark.

"If we're going to have someone to be in that position (but meet for large decisions anyway) it's like we're going to say we're not trusting the people we're hiring," she said.

Superintendent Marty Kobza said the board should have names of prospects compiled by the Dec. 13 meeting and start interviewing in January. The board would also have to come up with a description of the job.

Although Kobza said he first thought the district would be wiser to pay the position on an hourly basis, he told the board after talking to other districts paying a salary would be more effective. He estimated the district would need to pay the construction supervisor $40,000 to $50,000 for the term of the project.

The board also agreed to put $8 million of bonds on the market now and put the other $8 million out after Jan. 1 when the district can see what interest rates are like. The bonds were sold in two sums because buying more than $10 million in bonds at one time is cost prohibitive to purchasers because of Internal Revenue Service codes, Kobza said.

The board also took time out at the beginning of the meeting to thank members of the It's a K-12 Solution Committee who worked to pass the bond.

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