By RORYE O’CONNOR
MT. VERNON — —
By RICK HAYES
MT. VERNON — A general overview of pre-construction plans for the new Mt. Vernon Township High School were presented Monday night by officials from FGM Architects.
Spokesman Greg Brown outlined some of the preliminary work that has already been done on the project, including discussions with the city and county on utilities and infrastructure near the school site — at the intersection of Wells Bypass and Ambassador roads.
Groundbreaking for the new school could be held as early as February 2014, depending upon several factors, including soil conditions. Occupancy is not expected until the 2015 school year.
“We’ve had several meetings with city and county officials,” Brown said. “They have been great to work with and both have been very receptive to the plan.”
FGM is working closely with the city on road improvements on Ambassador Road, a water main and sewer lines, along with the possibility of curbing and sidewalks near the school. School officials have requested an entrance to the school off Ambassador Road, although the main entrance will be off Wells Bypass. Brown said since the county is responsible for Wells Bypass Road, the parties have talked about a turning lane into the high school. Utilities to the new school have also been discussed in those meetings, Brown said.
Brown presented a general layout of the school, showing a teacher’s and visitors parking lot near the front entrance. Parking is also available near the gymnasium and auditorium. The campus will include a football field — 4 feet lower than the rest of the campus — practice fields for baseball and softball, tennis courts, and a cross-country trail that is 3.1 miles in length.
“We’re trying to balance the site. The engineers think that it’s close to being balanced,” Brown said.
Following an hour executive session in which risk management was discussed, the meeting continued with Brown presenting the project schedule, noting the contract/program phase of the project has been completed and the project is now in the schematic stage. He noted that construction estimates should be available next week, and some work in the design development stage has been started.
Brown indicated the district will be saddled with direct construction costs and indirect construction costs associated with the project. Direct costs include the site, building and contingencies; indirect costs include administration costs, technology, off-site costs, architect, engineering and construction fees, and testing and investigation costs.
Superintendent Mike Smith said the district should be getting preliminary cost estimates for the project within 30 days.
McCarthy Builders has been selected as the construction manager for the district, and is expected to provide those project cost estimates, it was reported.