Mt. Vernon Register-News

March 25, 2014

High school redesign on schedule

By TRAVIS MORSE travis.morse@register-news.com
The Register-News

---- — MT. VERNON — Consultants say the ongoing redesign of the new Mt. Vernon Township High School is on schedule and has moved into the construction documents phase.

The theater and football field are still not included in the base bid amount for the construction plans.

However, consultants said Monday there is an alternate bid project in the plans to add lighting and goal posts at the football field site.

This could accommodate track meets and football practice, but not football

games since there would not be grandstands, said Kevin Meyer, project manager for FGM Architects.

“They’re going to grade (the field) to where you can practice on it, but what they’re saying is you can’t have games there because you don’t have the grandstands,” Meyer said. “We’ll still bid it out as a project, but it’ll be a separate line item at an alternate price.”

Meyer provided an update on the new school’s redesign at a special meeting Monday of the MVTHS Board of Education.

He said the redesign is still set to be completed by July 7.

“Right now, we’re still on schedule,” Meyer said. “We’re still tracking all the changes. We still have weekly coordination meetings.”

During Monday’s special meeting, board members examined some additional cost-saving measures for the new school.

The board decided to eliminate some interior walls separating two storage areas in the turf room section of the new gym. This measure saved roughly $30,000.

Now, instead of having two storage rooms in that space, there will be one larger room.

“I just can’t see spending $30,000 on interior walls,” said MVTHS Board member Bill Beck.

Also, the board considered, but ultimately rejected, a proposal to add metal paneling to the lower part of the exterior wall of the cafeteria wing, the art classroom area and elsewhere at the new campus.

This metal paneling would have replaced the brick there, saving about $25,000.

Board members decided against the measure, however, saying it would make the buildings look worse and lead to more maintenance costs in the future with rusting and other issues.

“I don’t think we should do it, personally,” said Superintendent Michael Smith.

In December, initial construction bids for the new school came in at more than $6 million over-budget, which led the board to adopt some major scope changes to cut costs.

FGM is now completing a redesign that takes into account these changes. Once the redesign is finished, most of the project’s construction will be rebid.

The theater and football field will be returned to the base bid amount if enough funding is available after rebidding.

In addition Monday, the MVTHS Board discussed the new school’s entrance area for buses and the orchestra seating at the theater.

They also looked at brick and exterior insulation samples, and examined plans for the proposed Career Technical Education building at the new school.