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.

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