OGDEN -- The school board has given unanimous approval to the district to move forward with Phase 3 of construction on Ogden High school, even though the project may cost about $2 million to $4 million more than originally expected. The total cost is now estimated at about $16.25 million.
Ogden School District Building Director Gary Reed said the increase in costs comes after more hard and fast figures have been calculated over the last few weeks in preparation for the bid presentation with the board.
"I really had no way to set a budget until tonight's decision," Reed said after the school board met last week. Reed is now working with the architects, EDA, and hopes to go out to bid with the contract work in January or no later than mid-February.
He now will set a harder budget.
"We already have a trailer set up at Ogden High School, where we are meeting with the architects," Reed said. He and the architects for the project do what is called "value engineering," where they sit down and figure out the best ways to do the project for the least amount of money. So far they have figured out how to save about $200,000 with the way the micropiles are worked for earthquake safety, Reed said. The district's finance director, Eugene Hart, also will be involved with this stage of the process.
The board decided to take the district's advice and move forward with Phase 3 after the district was assured of Quality Zone Academy Bonds totaling about $9 million. Ogden School District was recently authorized by the state to sell up to $9 million in bonds and plans to use money from the capital improvements budget if needed to complete the project. The district and board will also be looking at other funding alternatives, Superintendent Noel Zabriskie said.
Phase 2 isn't quite complete, and things will be finishing up with that phase as the next phase begins, Reed said. The district is doubling up on the phases because it has the money to get the job done sooner.
Over the last two board meetings, the architects have presented comprehensive plans to the board for Phases 2 and 3 and have been happy to save money in some places in Phase 2.
Reed said not all the money goes directly to construction. Some of the money goes to soft costs, such as architecture, blueprints and various studies. That portion is estimated to cost about $2.2 million, with the rest of the costs going to construction. The district used Hughes construction for the other phases of the work already completed.
Zabriskie told the board he has been happy and impressed because the board has not had to go the voters to ask for more money, in the form of a general obligation bond, for the last two phases of work.
Phase 3 will involve the main classroom areas of the school in the main hallways. Asbestos removal will be the first order of business. The classrooms will also be renovated to meet seismic guidelines, and supports will run up the walls of all three floors. The school offices also will be completely remodeled, and the library will be completely renovated. "It will be modernized, but it will maintain its historical look," Reed said of the library.
Principal Trevor Wilson said preparations are under way to move classrooms around. A double-wide portable will be used.
Reed hopes the final phase won't take more than 24 months, and possibly only 18 months.
The second phase of construction, which includes the auditorium, science labs and music areas, will be complete by fall 2011.
Reed told the board the plan is to have the entire renovation, including Phase 3, complete by winter 2012.
"The class of 2013 will be graduating in essentially a new school," he said.