Tuesday, May 28, 2013

May 10, 2013 Referendum Update

SDS Architects Present to the BOE

On May 6th, representatives from SDS Architects met with the Board of Education to offer an update on preliminary designs, to develop tentative timelines, and to identify “next steps.” SDS worked with the district in 2010 to complete an infrastructure audit, and they developed project cost estimates for the district throughout the referendum process.  SDS revisited several of the original budget items that have changed since the start of the referendum conversation based on the feedback from the committees and community information sessions.

During the meeting, Dale Poynter, SDS Architect, and Steve Rubenzer, SDS on-site project manager, reviewed the evolution of the conceptual designs that they have created for the elementary project. These projects include new classrooms; the renovation of cafeteria and courtyard; the redesign of the main office; and reconfiguration of the entrances/parking lots that better accommodates parent pick up/drop off, bus pick up/drop off, and visitor parking.

Mr. Poynter and Mr. Rubenzer reviewed the current conceptual drawing for the high school. They are attempting to honor the facilities committee request to prioritize the multipurpose addition at the MS/HS building. Mr. Poynter indicated that there is flexibility with the scope and design of the multipurpose addition; however, prior to moving forward, it will be important for the district to finalize the location. Finalizing the location will help faculty, staff, the facilities committee, and administration make recommendations regarding the specific interior design of the multi-purpose addition. The location decision also impacts the timeline for the elementary building timeline due to the differences in loads on heating/cooling, electrical, and plumbing systems the MPA represents.  A summary of the projected project budget was also shared. SDS stressed that this budget is still very general and based on the square footage of new construction, the square footage of remodeled space, and the needed infrastructure updates outlined in the referendum. A more specific budget will be possible after the design/development phase is complete. SDS provided the BOE with a basic contract proposal. The board asked Mr. Saron and me to have the contract details reviewed by a school district attorney. 

Feedback Sessions Scheduled

On Wednesday, May 15th, representatives from SDS will hold design workshops for the elementary project, meeting with teachers, support staff, and kitchen personnel.  Representatives will also observe lunch and kitchen operations in action. These sessions will allow our internal educational and school experts to provide feedback related to the scope and design of the project. Later in May, SDS will hold a similar feedback session with the facilities/community stakeholder group committee. 

This meeting will be an opportunity for members from both the facilities and community stakeholder groups to learn more about the scope, design, budget, and details for the elementary phase of the referendum project. We hope to set a specific date and time soon. After the elementary feedback sessions, if all goes well, architects will begin the process of transforming the conceptual designs into a construction document. The construction document will be used during the competitive bidding process. At the May 6th Board meeting, SDS indicated that a September 2014 project completion of the elementary school is very realistic, provided there are no unforeseen circumstances that cause delays. 

We are planning a similar process for collecting feedback from faculty, staff, and the facilities committee for the projects at the MS/HS.  Clearly, the most important question to be answered relates the location of the multi-purpose addition.   It appears the only feasible way to add the MPA to the MS/HS is to reach an agreement with the village to redirect/adjust Coe Street.  I attached the basic sketch (HSMPA) we have shared with the village board and the DOT.  Initial feedback from the village board is positive.  We are still coordinating schedules with the DOT and are hopeful that a joint meeting with representatives from the school, the village, and the DOT will occur by the end of next week (May 13-14).  The location of the MPA is a big decision because engineers will have to plan for the infrastructure updates (electrical, HVAC, etc) required for an addition of this magnitude.  Our goal is to continue to work with village and the DOT and push for an agreement so all projects can move forward in a timely manner.  In the meantime, SDS Architects will meet with the MS/HS PE staff, coaches, and MS/HS office staff on May 15th to gain preliminary feedback as they progress with the interior design of the MPA.  

Land Purchase and Relocation Plan Update

Land acquisition has proven to be a long process. Earnest money has been paid to owners, and initial environmental surveys will soon take place. The relocation plan will be developed and submitted to the Department of Administration in May. Between the end of May and August, the school district and property owners will “close” on the properties, and the school district will formally take ownership of the parcels. 

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