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SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS ON TARGET

Plans for school bond-funded construction and renovations at Brookings-Harbors three public schools have been tweaked some here and there, but overall its the same blueprint approved by voters in November, say school district officials and their architect.

Weve done some refining and reconfiguring of the space, but its still the same space that was put to the voters, said architect Dick Bryant.

Bryant presented the latest schematic drawings for all three schools during a special public meeting Wednesday with the School Bond Citizens Review and Oversight Committee.

Bryant hopes to get final approval of the plans by the Brookings-Harbor School Board during its regular meeting on Monday. Only then can he move forward on the details, he said.

I think were 95 percent done with the floor plan changes at this time, he told the committee on Wednesday.

Bryant said most of the refinements made to the original plans include rearranging classes, cafeterias and gymnasiums within the proposed floor plan. One proposed new structure has been flipped from one side of an existing building to the other side, he said.

The changes, he said, were made for better functionality and cost effectiveness.

Members of the oversight committee concurred with Bryants evaluation of the near-final plans.

District Superintendent Paul Prevenas said he, Bryant and other administrators worked very hard to prevent project creep from working its way into the planning process.

Im glad that after getting input from staff and administrators that there were no real important or costly changes.

Brookings-Harbor voters approved the $14 million school bond in November.

The money will provide:

A total of 17 more classrooms.

A new cafeteria/multipurpose room at each school.

A new kitchen at the high school that would serve all district campuses.

More rain protected common areas for students.

New restrooms and connecting hallways at the schools.

A small gym at Kalmiopsis Elementary School.

The projects were based on a 1.5 percent student growth rate over the next 20 years. That is just enough to accommodate the existing school population (1,871) and a small amount of growth, school officials have said.

Surveying of district property and soil testing began several months ago in preparation for construction of new facilities.

Bryant said the soil surveying and core samples have helped him determine what areas will need to be filled and what type of foundations will be used for different buildings.

The only real surprise so far was the recent discovery and poor condition of an underground 30-inch storm drainage pipe that crosses district property.

That is the biggest project this summer, said District Maintenance Supervisor Gene Peare.

Replacing the pipe is scheduled to begin in mid-June and should be completed by August 1, Peare said.

Bryant has not determined yet how much it will cost to replace the pipe until more research has been done. Options include abandoning the pipe, pulling it out altogether, damming it in several places or filling it with slurry, he said.

Prevenas said the money to pay for the project would not come from the $1 million in bond money set aside for high priority capital improvements scheduled for this summer.

The money, he said, will come from a $882,825 contingency fund that was established from the bond money for just these types of unexpected hurdles.

Such a contingency fund is part of any traditional construction project, Prevenas said. The amount weve set aside should be adequate to take care of this and any other problems that come up.

There was some talk at the meeting about asking the city of Brookings to help in removing the storm drain. Prevenas said he would discuss the idea with city officials.

Once the school board approves the plans, the next step is to finalize what type of roof and wall material will be used in the new buildings, Bryant said. Right now Bryant said he is favoring the use of precast concrete tilt-up walls for a majority of the construction.

It seems to be the most convenient and cost effective, he said.

Bids for the various construction projects are expected to go out between January and March of next year. Construction could begin as soon as school is out for the summer of 2002, Bryant said

Peare said projects planned for this summer included the removal of asbestos, replacement of old flooring and new door hardware and lock systems.

Theres going to be a lot of people working around the schools this summer, Peare said. Its going to be busy.

The principals at the three schools seemed to be pleased with the final plans presented by Bryant.

Im really excited about the designing of the spaces, specifically for the special education kids, said Chris McKay, principal of Kalmiopsis Elementary School.

Im excited that music teacher Gail Form will be able to teach in a real music room before she retires, McKay said. Bev Rose will finally be able to teach P.E. in a gymnasium.

Other issues discussed during Wednesday meeting including looking into the cost of upgrading the seismic integrity of the new buildings and the timing of hiring a project manager to oversee the construction.

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