MEEKER | By now, many in our community are familiar with Ballot Issue 4A, which has been placed on the ballot by the Meeker School District to raise funds for renovation and new construction for Meeker High School and the Meeker School District bus garage. During the past weeks, several questions have arisen regarding the timeline for this project and the specifics of the proposed construction. The following is intended to provide a factual summary to those questions if Ballot Issue 4A passes.
The school district is currently engaged in the process to identify an owner’s representative for the proposed building project. This is an essential first step to ensure a successful project. However, any financial commitment by the school district for an owner’s representative will only occur if Ballot Issue 4A passes. If Ballot Issue 4A passes, the school district will immediately begin the process of securing an architect and general contractor. In that scenario, the design process of the new facilities will occur from approximately November 2018 to June 2019. Construction would begin in May or June of 2019 and continue through the fall of 2020. The bus garage would naturally be on a quicker timeline. The new high school would be open for school in the 2020-2021 school year and completed during late summer or early fall of 2020.
Because the school district will again apply for a BEST grant in the spring of 2019, it was initially believed this timeline would need to be pushed back a year. That would have resulted in opening new facility for the 2021-2022 school year. Any expenses incurred after March 1, 2019 would be eligible for BEST grants awarded in spring of 2019. The majority of costs for the project will occur after March 1, 2019, if Ballot Issue 4A passes. Therefore, the district has chosen to proceed with a timeline which will allow for a completed project approximately one year earlier than originally anticipated.
Many in our community have seen the proposed floor plan for renovations and new construction on Meeker High School. It is important for community members to know this floor plan is merely a conceptual design. This floor plan was developed to ensure the appropriate square footage was included. That square footage was then used to calculate the necessary funds for the ballot question. The school district has not developed detailed construction drawings or final blueprints. Those type of drawings would require significant funds which would only be available from bond proceeds. If Ballot Issue 4A passes, a lengthy and detailed design process would follow. All school astaff directly impacted by the construction will be given the opportunity to provide input on the spaces they utilize. Additionally, there will be multiple stakeholder meetings where community members will be given the opportunity to provide suggestions for the final plan.
This information is intended to provide a factual summary of questions that have been asked by community members about the processes that will ensue if Ballot Issue 4A does pass. Community members are encouraged to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 878-9040 if they have further questions about the factual components of the project.
By CHRIS SELLE | Special to the Herald Times