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509-J cuts $1 million on center with value engineering

Numerous adjustments on performing arts/athletic center


Construction managers from the firms of Wenaha, Skanska and Kirby-Nagelhout reported to the School District 509-J Board of Directors about cost-savings steps and timelines for the district’s construction projects at the group’s Monday night meeting.

On the performing arts/athletic center work, Skanska managers talked about “value engineering,” in which they look at design requests to find the most cost-effective way to accomplish them.

Over $1 million was saved through value engineering on that project, they reported. Adjustments included: revised sheet metal siding, $113,000 saved; use of wood look ceiling material in the auditorium, $99,440 saved; reworking duct runs in the auditorium, $40,000 saved; and reuse of lighting poles in the football field and parking lot instead of buying new ones, $77,000 saved.

In an effort to reach out and involve more of the community in the projects, Skanska has held open houses for both the public and potential subcontractors and vendors, equipment training sessions, has partnered with the Chamber of Commerce by holding a Coffee Cupper event, partnered with local businesses by utilizing their services, and divided work into smaller packages so the local community could bid on jobs.

Kirby-Nagelhout managers reported on the Warm Springs K-8 school project, saying their value engineering on site work and design requests had reduced the budget by $186,000, and using wood-framed sheetrock firewalls instead of concrete masonry units (concrete blocks) saved $95,000.

The project is still waiting for U.S. Department of Agriculture approval for its funding, but they will still be able to begin early site work while the loan is in the process of being approved.

Tentative timelines call for design drawings to be done by June 14, a bid package with guaranteed price by July 24, and construction on the building done by July 2014.

Outreach was done with the tribal community in partnership with the other construction firms, 509-J and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

Working with school board chairman and tribal member Laurie Danzuka, they held open houses, safety training, and job fairs for potential subcontractors in Warm Springs.

“When we hired (the managers) we said we wanted this as local as possible, and we meant it,” noted board member Lyle Rehwinkel.

“It is our desire, but we don’t want it to hinder getting these buildings open on time,” board member Stan Sullivan added.

On the funding side, Superintendent Rick Molitor said USDA is reviewing the paperwork for the K-8 school and once they sign off on it, the documentation can be taken to a lender to obtain a loan.

Addressing the Madras area construction, Molitor said, “On the refunding and general obligation bonds, 2.92 percent was our interest, which is a very good interest rate. It saved us $1.6 million in refinancing our existing debt, and the release of bonds brought us a premium of $2.2 million.” (The premium is additional funds investors are willing to pay to buy the bonds because the interest rate is guaranteed over time).

Demolition of the old football stadium will be done by the fire department, according to 509-J Director of Operations Darryl Smith.

“The fire department will use the stadium for a practice burn, which will save us $10,000 to $15,000 in demolition costs,” Smith said, noting it will be done in late June.

When asked where sports would be held during football field construction, Smith said the district has been talking to the Culver School District, and MHS football games would be played on their field.

“The middle school track will be used for MHS track practice, and we will be adding extra long jump and pole vault pits to accommodate high school athletes,” he said.

In other business, out of state travel was approved for middle school student Carly Breach to attend the National History Day competition in Baltimore, Md.; and the resignation of middle school counselor Amy Gervais was approved, since she will be moving to Hawaii. Molitor announced that Nyla Delamarter, who has worked 30 years as a district office and Madras Primary secretary, will also be retiring.



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  • 1 Oct 2014

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