Friday, August 30, 2013

August 30, 2013 Referendum Update

There will be plenty of excitement and jitters in the eyes of children on Tuesday as they start the 2013-14 school year.  The summer, as it always does, flew by.  The yearly process of closing out the 2012-13 school year as well as preparing for the 2013-14 school year has kept us all busy over the past month. Below is a referendum progress update that provides some key developments and details the continued need for facilities committee and faculty feedback.

The architects have completed the final design elements for the elementary project.  Over the next few weeks the Architectural Design will be used to develop a Construction Document.  The Construction Document will facilitate the bidding process that will culminate in the selection of a qualified general contractor.  The scope of the elementary project will require about 5-months of construction.  Our target final completion date is August 15, 2014.  This will require the project starting March, 2014.  Obviously the weather makes it a challenge to predict the exact project timeline, however, completing the project prior to the 2014-15 school year is a priority.  According to industry experts the ideal time to get a competitive bid for a spring project is in late fall or early winter.  We will use this timeline when developing the bidding process.

A lot of work has been done to prepare the site for school expansion. I have included enlarged pictures that highlight some of the key elements of the project.

The elementary addition will take place at the northwest corner of the existing building.  The addition will include seven new classrooms.  The rooms are scheduled to become 4K, 5K, Primary Special Education, and Primary Title I classrooms.  The addition also includes new bathrooms in between the 4K rooms and outside of the new main office.  The redesigned main office will have a secure vestibule at the entrance, expanded work and storage areas, a centrally located nurse’s office, and a small conference room for parent meetings or teacher collaboration time.  The yellow spaces indicate remodeled areas for the School Psychologist, Paraprofessionals, and the Speech/Language Teacher.
A new cafeteria will be built by filling in the courtyard.  The new cafeteria will better accommodate the elementary student enrollment and allow for the old cafeteria space to be used for academics, physical education, CCLC, and small performances. Storage will be added in the kitchen and in the new cafeteria.  

The house (525 Coe Street) and apartments (Lewis Street) will both be vacant as of September 1.  Both structures are scheduled to be demolished.  The first step in this process is to complete asbestos and environmental testing.  Testing will identify any materials that will have to be removed prior to demolition.  We are in the process of determining if the demolition will be handled by district maintenance staff or will require the use of a demolition company.  

The current schematic design requires adjustments to Coe Street.  An engineer for the Village provided the district with some basic estimates for the cost of these adjustments.  Prior to any permanent adjustments to Coe Street, we want to make sure that the design represents the most fiscally prudent option, while still completing the projects authorized by the referendum.  In addition, we would like to coordinate the timing of these adjustments to align to a proposed project to extend Kissel Street through to Highway 33 and the Department of Transportation’s scheduled expansion of Highway 33.

With these challenges in mind the Board is working with SDS Architects to create new options for the multipurpose addition at the MS/HS.  The intent is to create options that would not require major adjustments to Coe Street, and to review the possibility of another location for the addition.  

Thank you for your continued commitment to this project.  We made a lot of progress throughout the summer months, and I look forward to continuing this positive momentum throughout the fall.  Please call me, e-mail, or check the referendum website for more information.

Monday, August 5, 2013

August 5, 2013 Referendum Update

Removal of Buildings As most of you have noticed, the removal of houses and buildings on the property adjacent to the elementary school is an indication that we are in the very early stages of preparing the site for the elementary expansion. Final Acquisition of Properties On Friday, July 26 the school district closed on the Bolchen (Apartment) property. The closing starts the clock on the state-statute required 90 day grace period for any remaining tenants. One expectation of the relocation consultant is to assure that remaining tenants adhere to the requirements set forth by the relocation plan. Closing on the final parcel of land adjacent to the elementary school has yet to be scheduled, however, the goal is to complete this process prior to August 31. Elementary Project Design Development Progress Meeting On Thursday, July 25 members of the administrative and maintenance staff met with a group of architects from SDS and engineers from KJWW. The lengthy meeting consisted of a room by room analysis of the design development plan. District officials identified educational priorities and the entire team worked to correlate the design pictures with the actual structural requirements of the building. In the coming weeks SDS will issue a Design Development Final Review Set that includes data sheets for each room and drawing sets for each discipline. The Board of Education will review the set and follow up with questions/comments. Once changes are made, the final set will be approved. SDS will then move into the Construction Document Phase. Current Floor Plans I included updated versions of the new Elementary and Middle/High School Floor plans. Please feel free to contact me with questions, comments, or any other feedback related to either design.