Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April 30, 2014 MS-HS Referendum Update

I am excited to report that we have a tentative project bidding and construction schedule for the MS-HS project.  The middle-high school project has evolved significantly over the past year.  Late last fall, the district took advantage of an opportunity to purchase residential land adjacent to the High School.  Due to the acquisition of this land, the Board of Education asked the Referendum Facilities Committee to evaluate each component of the High School Project.  The committee focused on the development of a design that enhanced the current high school, while honoring the essential elements of the building referendum.  In January, the facilities committee made the following project recommendations to the Board of Education.

Cardio-Fitness Center  The committee identified the current Agriculture-Metals shop areas as the ideal location for this component of our multi-purpose addition.  The fitness center facility will improve our physical education and athletic programming options; in addition the new facility will allow for the expansion of our community wellness programming partnerships with Scenic Bluffs Community Health Center and the Village of Cashton.  The facility will feature modern fitness and weightlifting equipment, connect to the current high school gym, and have an operable partition that will allow for simultaneous student and community use.

Academic-Community Multi-Purpose Addition  The committee favored the academic multi-purpose addition to be located above the new main office and entrance.  The centralized location will allow for easy after-hours community access and improve the functionality during the school day.  The addition will include a new LMC, flexible small and large group learning spaces; and access to diverse learning tools.  The committee recommended that this area become a central hub of activity before, during, and after school.

Agriculture Science and Technology Education  Building the new cardio-fitness center adjacent to the gym provides the opportunity to add a new Agriculture Science and Technology Wing adjacent to the current industrial education area.  This area will include: A metals processing shop with state of the art welding stations, metals manufacturing, and engineering equipment; an agriculture science complex with a live animal pen, meats processing lab, classroom, shop area, and greenhouse; and an innovations lab with a graphic design lab, multimedia production, and materials production areas.

Safe Entrance and Main Office Remodel  The new entrance will be secure, and the expansion will result in a new lobby area that connects to the cafeteria.  This will make both of these areas more functional during the school day and for community events.

Below are the plans to convert the current LMC into two large classrooms and the FCE/Innovations room into a classroom and teachers’ lounge.

At the May Board of Education meeting, I will be asking the Board to release the MS-HS project for bidding.  In anticipation of this release, SDS has proposed the following bidding timeline.
  1. Final quality control review of the construction drawings and project manual (May 13). This will be an opportunity to review the final elements to the project and contractor contract details.
  2. SDS will coordinate the proper posting of the project.  The bid period will last approximately one month.  Regional contractors with meaningful experience completing educational projects will be invited to bid.  In addition, the project will be posted in local/regional newspapers and trade magazines to assure that all tradesmen and suppliers are aware of the project. (May 19-22).
  3. During the bid period, contractors will have access to project materials via the Submittal Exchange website.  The project’s construction drawings; project manual; specifications for materials and workmanship; and construction contract information will be uploaded to the Submittal Exchange’s “Plan Room”.  Access to the site is free, but contractors must log in to view or download bid documents.  This will give the district a record of who has viewed what.  During the bid period contractors will review the documents and ask the design team at SDS clarification questions. If something arises that is important enough to warrant a change an addendum to the bid documents will be made.  The district will be informed of these changes.
  4. Partway through the bid period, we will schedule a walk-through.  This is an opportunity for contractors to visit the site, get a tour of the existing building, verify conditions, and ask questions.  Representatives from SDS and the district will complete the walk-through (June 10).
  5. The bid opening is a public event in which all bids are opened and reviewed.  Bids must be read aloud, documented in a spreadsheet, and made public once the information is verified. This information, including the apparent low bidder, will be presented to the Board at the December meeting.  Upon board approval a “Notice to Proceed” is issued to the selected contractor.  This allows the contractor to mobilize and plan prior to a formal contract being in place.  Shortly after the board meeting, the District will negotiate and sign a contract  (June 23).
  6. Board of Education selection of elementary project contractor (Special Board of Education Meeting, June 24).
  7. Construction of the New Ag-Metal Wing (July, 2014-January, 2015).
  8. Remodeling of existing Ag area into Cardio-Fitness Center (January, 2015-March, 2015).
  9. Construction of new entrance and academic multi-purpose areas (May 2015-August 2015).

Starting May 5, the Lewis Street apartments and the home at 525 Coe will demolished.   On April 24 we completed a public auction to sell any materials associated with these properties.   A temporary gravel lot will be installed in the area.

April 30, 2014 Elementary Referendum Update

Complaints of the cold have been replaced with complaints about the rain.  However, progress on the elementary project continues at a steady pace.  The footings and foundation work for the storage area in the front of the school is complete and masonry work will begin later this week.  The footings for the addition are ready to be poured.  This will happen as soon as the weather allows.  Masonry work below ground level for the new addition is complete.  Over the past two days, We Energies has been on-site installing a new gas meter and connection.  The new gas meter should be connected and functional by the end of the week.  The electrical sub-contractor will be in the large gym this week completing lighting upgrades and the plumbing sub-contractor is continuing to coordinate with the our general contractor to determine the best way to complete the new cafeteria addition.  We had hoped to capitalize on the all-school field trip on April 30 to complete some excavation work in the courtyard.  However, due to the wet weather, the trip has been delayed.  At our weekly construction meeting on April 27, both the architect and engineer reported that the weather has delayed the construction schedule, however they are still confident that project will be substantially complete by the start of the 2014-15 school year.  Mr. Alderson and I continue to closely monitor the situation and are planning contingencies for the start of the year if the weather significantly alters the schedule.

Below are a few pictures from the last few week.  There are more available on the referendum blog:

April 25, 2014 -Storage Addition

April 25, 2014 Foundation Wall for the New Addition

April 29, 2014 Sloppy mess after three days of rain

April 29, 2014 Sloppy mess after three days of rain

April 29, 2014 Sloppy mess after three days of rain

April 29, 2014 New Gas Meter and Connection

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April 22, 2014

Construction work continued during Easter Break.

4-22-14 Preparation work for the new classroom and main office footings
4-22-14 Mr. Brown's room wall was removed to allow easy access to the courtyard area.
During the school day a temporary wall is in place.  Work on this area will take place after-school hours.
4-22-14 View of courtyard access
4-22-14 A courtyard wall was removed to allow access to the courtyard through Mr. Brown's room.
4-22-14 Footings for the new storage area.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April 16, 2014

4-15-14 Parking Lot/Entrance Demo

4-15-14 Parking Lot/Entrance Demo

4-15-14 Storage Addition West of District Gym

4-15-14 Storage Addition West of District Gym

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14, 2014

A spring snowstorm didn't prevent excavating and parking lot demolition work to continue today.  Work also began on the storage addition in front of the district gym.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

April 10, 2014 Referendum Update

The project fence, contactor trailers, and material storage units are up and in place.  Material deliveries have begun.  The large parking lot is split.  The west side of the lot is for visitor parking and student drop-off/pick-up.  The east side of the lot is for bus loading and faculty parking.  After some initial challenges, the temporary lot is working adequately.

Below are a few pictures of the work that has started:

Figure 1:  April 7, 2014 -Entry Demolition

Figure 2:  April 7, 2014 Entry Demolition
Figure 3: April 7, 2014 Mr. Brown’s room has been vacated so plumbing work can be completed for the new cafeteria.
Over the next week contractors will be working to create points of entry into the courtyard.   Once they have access, they will prepare the area for the footings and foundation for the new cafeteria.  This work will mainly be completed after-school hours.  However, if noise is tolerable, some work will be completed during the school day.

The classroom and main office addition site work begins this week.  The contractor has been coordinating the redirection of the various utilities that feed into the school.  The most significant of these utilities is the gas service connection at the northwest corner of the school--work on re-routing this utility could not begin until frost depths were reasonable.  We Energies has been helpful in expediting this work.  In addition, work on the new receiving room storage area directly to the west of the District Gym entrance will begin soon.

SDS Architects and KJWW Engineers have been in the MS/HS several times over the past month.  We have completed the design development phase.  The construction drawings and project manual for the General Contractor bidding are now being created.   Dale Poynter has indicated the final bidding documents should be complete by the end of May.  The bidding process will be similar to the Elementary project.  The bid period will last a month.  Regional contractors with meaningful experience completing educational projects will be invited to bid.  In addition, the project will be posted in local/regional newspapers and trade magazines to assure that all tradesmen and suppliers are aware of the project.  In the coming weeks, I will provide a more specific bidding timeline.  The goal is to start the MS-HS project in the late summer/early fall.

On Thursday, April 24 at 4:00 pm the district will have a public auction to sell the contents of the 525 Coe Street and 604 Lewis Street properties.  Mike Huntzicker has volunteered his time, and will serve as the auctioneer for the event.  In addition, we will be selling other obsolete/unneeded school property (desks, computers, kitchen equipment and other miscellaneous items).  All purchased materials will be required to be removed by May 1st.  C&C Landscaping will start the demolition of the properties and construction of the gravel parking lot shortly thereafter.  It is important to note that the school district attempted to coordinate with Cashton Fire Department to complete a control burn of these properties.  However, the fire department decided that the location of these properties was not conducive for a controlled/training burn.

The former Daines home has been moved to just behind the bus garage.  As part of the purchase agreement, the buyer is responsible for removing the foundation and returning the property back to its original grade.  This should happen over the next couple of weeks.    The Herricks property closing will occur on or near May 15.  Prior to closing, the seller will be removing the home and storage sheds.  We have scheduled the removal of the underground diesel tank and installation of a new above ground system for late June.
The final sale of referendum bonds was completed on April 9.   The timing of this issuance allowed the district make an extra payment towards the debt from the previous referendum.  We will make the final payoff on our “old” referendum debt on May 1, 2016.