Friday, February 22, 2013

District moves ahead with new classrooms

School board approves design/build teams for two projects

Express Staff Writer

The Blaine County School District on Tuesday took another step toward building 11 new classrooms for district schools by approving design/build teams for proposed projects at Wood River Middle School and Hailey Elementary School.

Appointment of the teams does not constitute a final approval to actually build the classrooms. That would come when final designs are complete, final costs are determined and contracts are ready to be awarded.

District Business Manager Mike Chatterton said final designs and final costs should be completed and ready to submit to the board within a few months. Work on both projects is planned to begin this summer.

The Wood River Middle School proposal is to build an extension on the eastern part of the existing building for eight new classrooms. A preliminary budget estimate is $1,584,000, which would be taken from a $59.8 million plant facilities levy approved by Blaine County voters in 2009.

Based upon the recommendation of a special committee to consider the new classrooms, the school board unanimously approved appointing Conrad Brothers Construction and architect Jolyon Sawrey as the design/build team.

The Hailey Elementary School project involves converting a basement space, previously used for maintenance and storage, into three classrooms. The estimated cost is between $350,000 and $400,000. Chatterton said that because the project was not considered in the 2009 plant facilities levy, funding could come from residual funds from a now retired bond or from Idaho Power energy rebates that the school has been awarded due to recently undertaken green energy measures there.

The board also followed the recommendation of the committee by unanimously approving appointment of Dan Young Construction and architect Michael Doty for the Hailey Elementary project.

“What it boiled down to is it was unanimous in both cases,” said Chatterton in describing the committee’s selection.

Members of the committee included Chatterton, Hailey Elementary School Principal Tom Bailey, Wood River Middle School Principal Fritz Peters, district Building and Grounds Director Howard Royal, planning consultant John Gaeddert and city of Hailey representative Micah Austin.

Chatterton said separate committees, involving members of the public, will be established to consider precise needs for both the middle school and Hailey Elementary projects. Those needs would be considered in final designs and final costs.

Terry Smith:

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