BOE hears update on high school project
by Briana Webster
Jul 16, 2014 | 2003 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jasper City Board of Education members were updated on the progress of the school system’s new high school Monday night.

Before deciding on the district’s new superintendent Monday evening, Jay Kirkpatrick, program manager for Hoar Program Management, and Lee Bryant, senior vice president of Lathan Associates Architects, discussed updates made to the project’s budget and schedule changes.

“One thing that we’ve had since the last time, or since this booklet was prepared, is 50 percent construction documents. The design development stage is what is in the booklet, as far as cost goes. We’ve had another updated set, so we’ve got a new budget to present,” Kirkpatrick said. “... You’ll notice there’s a very significant increase, and I’ll tell you what our ideas are as far as that goes. You’ll see the total budget at the schematic stage was $51 million; total budget design development was $52.285 million; current total budget is $58.841.”

Kirkpatrick continued to point out $4.883 million in planned alternates, which would include a softball fitout via alternate funding for $550,000, the addition of the first wing of classrooms (11 classrooms) for $1.841 million, the addition of the second wing of classrooms (11 classrooms) for $1.841 million, the addition of tennis courts (12 courts) for $409,440 and the addition of a paved loop road for $240,900. Those alternates have not been added to the base bid at this time.

The additional $6.748 million consists of all potential alternates — gravel or paved parking at tennis courts, lab casework/equipment, media center, health science lab and kitchen/culinary arts equipment — including the planned alternates costing $4.883 million.

“We met with the staff, some staff members more than once. ... The project is going its natural course. We want to meet with everybody, and we want everybody to be happy,” Bryant said. “So, it’s not like we’re down to the end, and there’s just all of a sudden some changes. There’s been some changes, and it does affect the schedule, but it’s kind of part of the natural course of the project.” 

One of the problems that caused a concern was that six months ago, the plans that were developed showed three to four extra classrooms that had not been assigned as a classroom; however, now those extra rooms have been assigned.

“So, yes, it’s gone up $6 million, but there are 18 more classrooms in the picture now than there was in the other, and they can come out. They are just there to give you a choice,” Bryant added.

Board member Steven Gillott asked about the gravel parking versus paved parking at the tennis courts. The base bid shows that the parking would be paved, but Kirkpatrick and Bryant suggested maybe making it gravel on the base bid and having it paved as an alternate. Gillott replied, “We don’t want any gravel. ... I don’t want any gravel at this new school. We’re not going to spend this kind of money for gravel.” 

“We’re trying to give you a budget that we believe will work,” Kirkpatrick said. “... We’re going to come up with a list of alternates even more extensive than this along the way, but what we’ll need you to do is suggest ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ that you’ll take those as your alternates.” 

Jasper Mayor Sonny Posey asked how much it would cost to add the athletic facilities back in to the budget. Kirkpatrick said it would possibly be an additional $17 million on top of the $58 million estimated total budget.

As far as the project continuing to be on schedule for the site work, everything seems to be on time. However, there were a few updates on the schedule of the building package.

The original bid date was Aug. 26, but now the date has changed to Sept. 16. Kirkpatrick said the drawings will be completed Aug. 12 so the state will have 30 days to review the drawings.

Construction on the school building is still expected to start on Sept. 25.