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MEEKER | The high school construction project got its legal stamp of approval Monday night when Meeker School District’s board unanimously approved a contract with Haselden Construction for $32.24 million and $90,000 in pre-construction fees. The contract was extensively reviewed before making its way to the board.
Saul Abraham of NV5, the District’s owner’s representative, stated at the Feb. 11 meeting that Haselden’s original bid had come in higher than expected, but a recent collaborative planning session had knocked off about three quarters of that 15 percent overage, according to Superintendent Chris Selle. “Without talking specific numbers we’re on the right track,” he said. Selle also mentioned the District received a $564,000 Homeland Security grant toward the project, submitted a BEST grant for $7.5 million, and are working on a DOLA grant as well.
WHAT HAPPENS NOW
After adding contract approvals for abatement and moving services to the Feb. 25 agenda, the plan is to “move out of the south end of the building over spring break. It seemed to become a necessity as we got further into the hazardous material and the amount of time it’s going to take to abate that. We’re trying to get a jump on it so the project is not pushed out,” Selle said.
The board approved a contract for moving services with Bailey’s Moving and Storage out of Grand Junction in an amount not to exceed $43,703.50. This bid came in about $7,000 higher than one other received by the District, but “their hourly rates are lower (according to the bids, $32.50/hour versus $42.50-$45/hour.) Because this will be charged by the hour, the actual costs of the move will be less going with the company we chose. This company also has more resources they can allocate to our project,” according to Selle. Multiple moves will be required, and the company will take care of the District’s moving needs for the duration of the project.
The board also signed an abatement services contract for $2,682,681 with Earth Services and Abatement of Commerce City. “This company will be responsible for removing all hazardous material (primarily asbestos and mercury) prior to any demolition/renovation,” Selle stated. If they also complete demolition, as opposed to Haselden doing that work, the District will pay an additional $546,325. According to John Usery of NV5 who was present to answer questions and provide updates, the company has a great track record of completing projects quickly and submitting less change orders than others. Earth Services and Abatement also has more resources to allocate to the project and should be able to complete it in a shorter time frame, barring any unexpected setbacks. Selle stated the abatement contract is set at, “a certain amount and unit rates if we exceed that work; it’s not necessarily a max amount.”
Board member Tom Allen inquired as to whether demolition might possibly begin while school is still in session if the abatement goes very quickly. Depending on safety and state approval, Usery said it’s possible, but also stated, “we don’t know what’s going to happen when we open up that building—we’ll have a full detailed report in two weeks.”
At the end of the meeting, the board collectively thanked Usery and NV5. “At the beginning of this I questioned whether we should have the expense of the owner’s rep. I no longer have that,” board member Allen stated.
Feb. 25 meeting:
– Heard updates from FCCLA club members on the benefits of the program
– Heard committee reports; notably the contract for BOCES executive director Teresa Schott was approved after an executive session and a vote of 4-2, according to Kevin Amack
– Approved spring coaches
– Approved Celeste Lawrence as a substitute teacher
– Approved legislative changes to the District’s policies regarding reporting requirements for parents and medical marijuana.
Feb. 11 meeting:
– Chose not to replace a bus engine and instead will look into purchasing a new bus possibly next year; the cost of the engine replacement (approximately $37,000) is nearly as much as a new bus would be with the help of CCTIF and other funding (around $50,000.)
– Accepted the resignation of elementary school Title I teacher Laurel Mullins.
– Discussed best practices surrounding capital reserves; Selle stated that surrounding school districts have widely varied or no policies in place and did not have a recommendation for creating a formal policy for MSD.
– Updated board on legislative policies to watch, including measures regarding school finance, full day kindergarten, and a comprehensive sex education bill. The board also discussed a rumored bill in the works regarding mill levy stabilization. “Adjusting the mill levies could effectively wipe out the negative factor. Mathematically why you would do this makes perfect sense for a District like us,” Selle said.
To view the high school’s preliminary designs and features and construction phases from the Feb. 18 presentation to the public and students, see the video below.