Granby " E. Grand schools add $800,000 to building projects before they begin |

Granby " E. Grand schools add $800,000 to building projects before they begin

Will Bublitz
Sky-Hi Daily News

Before a shovel has dug into the ground or a brick has been laid in its $18.2 million bond projects, the East Grand Board of Education has decided to approve hundreds of thousands of dollars in change orders.

In a unanimous vote at its Tuesday meeting, the school board approved change orders to its building projects totaling $802,673. These changes fall under the bond projects being designed and built by the Neenan Company, a Fort Collins-based architectural-construction firm.

In presenting the change orders for the board’s approval, Superintendent Robb Rankin explained the $802,673 will come out of the approximately $850,000 “contingency fund” that was originally built into the $18.2 million bond approved by East Grand’s voters in last November’s election.

By spending down of the vast majority of the bond’s contingency fund so early in the project, Rankin assured the school board that the district still has more than enough funds to cover any additional change orders or other unforeseen expenses that might yet occur.

Rankin explained that in addition to the $50,000 that still remains of the original contingency funds, the district can rely upon the bond premium money earned by the sale in the $18.2 million in bonds in December. He said that money will now act as its “new contingency fund.”

The sale of the $18.2 million in bonds that took place on the bond market last month netted the East Grand School District more than $977,000 in bond premium money. Under state law, those funds can only be spent on capital construction projects.

Following the district’s receipt of the bond premium money last month, those funds were invested. Rankin said the estimated return on the investment should be about $250,000, which could also be used as part of the new contingency fund.

To explain the change orders, Rankin pulled out Neenan’s architectural drawings to show the board members what design changes are needed. The change orders are for all three of the building projects covered by the bond project.

The most costly change orders, totaling $443,000, are for Fraser Valley Elementary School. Rankin explained $375,562 of that money would be spent to build a new music room addition that was not originally part of the bond project presented to voters for that building.

Also being added to the Fraser Valley school project is the replacement of the building’s existing boilers with ones that have increased capacity and piping. In addition, the request included a hallway sprinkler system and classroom cabinets.

The next largest set of change orders is for Granby Elementary School where a total of $193,706 in additional funds was requested.

The most costly change from Granby Elementary’s original plan will move the planned classroom addition to the north side of the building for a total of $132,356. The original design would have build it on the building’s southwest corner, but it was later learned the hillside slope where it was to be located was unstable.

Related to that request was another $32,425 needed to relocate the sewer line on the north side of Granby Elementary due to the move of the classroom addition. Also added was $44,585 for cabinets and countertops to be installed in the classrooms.

The third major set of change orders, totaling $165,152, is for Middle Park High School. In presenting this request, Rankin noted the high school is the largest project under the original bond projects, but is requesting the smallest amount in change orders.

The most costly change order for Middle Park High is $87,692 for the new science classroom/laboratory wing. Those funds will pay for the redesign of the wing to include the installation of Clerestory windows.

Rankin explained Neenan’s original plan for the new wing was to build it with a low ceiling similar to Middle Park High’s old hallways. However, the administration now wants the new wing’s design to be similar to the classroom addition built in 1998, which has high ceilings with large windows that allows more natural light to enter the building.

Other change orders to the high school project includes: new floor material for the industrial arts hallway, remodeling the old concessions area, redesigning the new gym to become a separate varsity gym, remodeling the wrestling room, and power cable and other electrical equipment additions.

School calendar approved

In a related matter at Tuesday’s meeting, the school board voted approval for the 2008-09 school year calendar. Classes will begin after Labor Day, which is one week later than usual. This is to accommodate the school construction and remodeling projects being done in the district.

Under the new calendar, the first day of school will be Sept. 2, the day after Labor Day. Thanksgiving break will be the week of Nov. 21-27 and Christmas-New Year’s from Dec. 19-Jan. 4. Spring break is slated for the week of April 5-11. Graduation for Middle Park High School seniors is set for June 6 with the final day of school on June 11, 2009.

Indian Peaks Charter School discussion

Also discussed at Tuesday’s meeting was the construction of a permanent facility for Indian Peaks Charter School. For the past couple of years, it has been housed in modular classrooms in Granby.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Rankin reported that an obstacle to constructing the charter school’s permanent facility on its present location in Granby has been overcome. He said a soils analysis of the ground has ruled it safe with no evidence of toxins. In December, some Indian Peaks parents alleged that poisonous toxic substances from an old auto dump on the site had polluted the ground.

A discussion on a permanent location and building design for the charter school will be held between East Grand School District officials and Indian Peaks representatives next Tuesday, Jan. 30. Approval of a plan of action is expected at the East Grand Board of Education’s next meeting that has been rescheduled to 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4.

Frontier League admission

Also announced at Tuesday’s meeting was the admission of Middle Park High’s sports teams into the Frontier League. For decades, the Panthers have played in Metro League competitions. The switch in leagues will affect all of Middle Park teams except for its football and ski teams.

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