Capital Project …In The Design Phase
By Mark J. Ward, Superintendent
The familiar question that I have been asked all summer has been “when will they start the project”? Others have remarked, “I thought the project would get underway this summer”. Well, soon after the voters approved the project the next phase of the project started but it is not the phase of the project most people are excited about.
Everyone is looking forward to seeing dirt move, cranes on site or physical changes that can easily be seen. However, right now we are in the “design phase” which basically takes the “rough drawings” and puts those concepts into workable drawings. SEI Design Group is doing the majority of the work at this time with their engineers and those who are working with the electrical and plumbing facets of the project. This is the detail work that we need to make sure is right so the project stays within the budget parameters that were approved.
This is the time when we establish the actual structural walls, specs for the steel, ceilings, lights, rooms, electrical improvements, plumbing, wall finishes, floor finishes, site work and the many other little things that will go into the project. We want to get things right at this phase of the project because changes down the road will cost the District extra money.
The Board will soon finalize the scope of the work and then develop a list of alternates that will be considered if the bids come in favorable (lower than what Campus Construction estimates). You might call it a wish list but we hope that many of the items listed will become part of the final project.
Originally we had planned to have the plans ready to be submitted to the State Education Department for review by November 1, 2013; however, we are trying to push that up by a full month. The SED process can be up to six months and sometimes more so the sooner the plans are there the sooner we can get them approved.
Once the plans are approved we can advertise and bid the project. This is critical for a couple reasons. We will need two full summers to complete the work and the sooner we get started the more we can get done. The other deals with the timing of the bidding process and if we can bid earlier, we believe it increases the competition and potentially lowers the cost for the District. We hope to begin the construction phase during the first week of June 2014.
As for disruptions throughout the school year, we do not anticipate that 2013-14 will pose any problems. However, 2014-15 will be a completely different story! As we get closer to the end of this school year, we will have more information of the phasing of the project (how we will operate the programs and school during the construction).
It will be an exciting time for all of us as our plans and vision begin to take shape.