Guest Column: Construction on new school to begin in June

MEEKER | A significant amount of design work has occurred since the November election where voters approved a bond for construction at Meeker High School and the district’s transportation facility. As stated in the fall, our school district is grateful to our community for supporting this effort. We are committed to completing this project with fair and transparent processes.

Because of the pledge to our taxpayers that the school district will continue to pursue grant funding for the project, we have broken the bond sale into two separate transactions. The first sale occurred on Jan. 16. The district sold $28,000,000 of the $39,700,000 approved by voters in November.  In the best case scenario, we would not need the additional $11,700,000 in bond sales and could reduce the local tax burden by that amount. This is predicated on receiving grant awards and construction costs staying within budget. The remainder of the bonds will only be sold in June or July, if we are unsuccessful with grant applications or determine additional funds are needed to complete the project.

The school district has hired TreanorHL as our architect and Haselden Construction as our general contractor. The construction delivery process we are utilizing is commonly referred to as CM/GC (Construction Manager/General Contractor). This differs from a traditional hard bid as the contractor will provide technical assistance and pricing estimates through the course of the design process. The school district still maintains full authority over the design of the facility. The CM/GC delivery method simply provides for greater synergy and accountability between the architect and contractor. Ultimately, this results in a better building at a lower cost.

TreanorHL facilitated four DAG (Design Advisory Group) meetings in December and January. Membership of the DAG included a variety of school district stakeholders. These individuals were able to provide valuable input on the schematic design of the new high school. Details of the facility will evolve in the coming months, but the main components of the design will be set after the schematic design is completed. For the time being, we have chosen to focus design efforts on the high school. Design on the new transportation facility will begin later this spring.

On Feb. 18, at 5 p.m., the school district will host a community meeting to share the schematic design. We encourage any interested community members to attend that meeting. We will also be able to share general information about the construction phasing and schedule.

Construction is set to begin immediately after the conclusion of the school year. The first component of construction will be abatement of asbestos and any other hazardous materials in the current facility. Depending on a variety of factors, this process could take anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months. Once the abatement is completed, the portion of the building south of the auditorium will be demolished and new construction will commence. This construction will continue through the 2019-2020 school year. During that time, we will utilize the classrooms on the north end of the building to continue with educational programming.

We are looking forward to the continued community involvement through the design and construction of the high school and transportation facility. Our community’s support and involvement in this process has been phenomenal to date, which gives me another reason to continue proclaiming I am proud to be a Meeker Cowboy!

 

Chris Selle

By Chris Selle | MSD Superintendent