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Changes bring new schools into budget

  • Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Monica Kreber/Journal Scene Rendering of Alston Bailey Elementary

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From steel to cabinets to plumbing to roofing, changes at the new Alston Bailey and Eugene Sires elementary schools have been made to bring them within budget – and the good news is, right now they are within budget.

Bob Folkman, capital improvements facilitator for the district, said the changes include architects and engineers’ proposals for items that could be reduced.

“We put everything on the table,” Folkman said. “Those are things that we have accepted to get to a starting point to get us in budget.”

Sires and Alston Bailey, also known as ES1 and ES3 respectively, were the two schools that came in over budget when they went out for bid earlier this year. ES1 was 36 percent over budget while ES3 was 29 percent over budget.

Thanks to value engineering, Sires Elementary has managed to deduct $4,937,564 and another $4,369,811 has been deducted from Alston Bailey.

“We continue to look at additional items that might save us money,” he said. “It’s an ongoing process.”

DD2 moved forward with an emergency measure to start construction on the two schools, canceling the sealed bidding and instead using construction manager-(CM)-at-risk format. The format allowed the district to proceed to work on the schools’ land while working with architects on changes in design to bring the construction projects back into DD2’s budget.

Folkman said value engineering for both of the schools has resulted in taking out the “wants” for the school and going with the “needs” instead. For example, the district had wanted to use more energy-efficient LED lighting in the schools. Because LED lighting is more expensive, the schools will now go with more cost-efficient lighting.

Folkman said those LED lights could make it back into the schools if they attain more money to fund them.

“We’re going with cost-efficient fixtures,” Folkman said.

At both schools value engineering resulted in deleting items such as classroom sinks — something that saved Alston more than $25,000 — or getting rid of some landscaping — which saved Sires more than $137,000.

Value engineering also resulted in using different materials. At Sires changes to the roof has saved the school $1,136,402. Mechanical changes have spared another $1,010,000.

At Alston the school saved $63,986 by deleting sound-absorbing wall panels and saved another $42,800 with changes to the steel required.

Folkman said the original roof design was extremely expensive due to the sloped metal roof, which came with wind and earthquake design considerations.

“By going to a minimal sloped flat roof we were able to use bar joists (standard construction), which greatly reduced the weight and cost of the structural steel,” he said.

Sire recently fell behind schedule when contractors were missing a land disturbance permit, which prevented them from starting construction. They acquired the permit Aug. 13 and can now proceed with construction. ES2, also known as Sand Hill and the new middle school of the arts, is moving forward as well.

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