Saturday, 27 February 2021

Phase one of LD schools facilities update a work in progress

LEAD — With nine change orders totaling $44,000 thus far and a 13-day extension granted on the high school elevator installation portion of the project, phase one the Lead-Deadwood Schools facilities update remains a work in progress.

Schools Superintendent Dr. Dan Leikvold briefed the school board on phase one progress at the July 19 school board meeting. The work is estimated to cost about $873,000.

“It seems putting an elevator in an 80-year-old building is a tough idea,” Leikvold said.

Three change orders totaling $17,094 were presented from contractor Ainsworth-Bening Construction, Inc., at the June board meeting: one to add an on-off switch to the elevator for each landing, in the amount of $1,224; two other change orders were also presented for asbestos removal and disposal – one for $11,400 and one for $4,470. 

Leikvold said six more change orders were submitted since the board last met, bringing the total asbestos abatement to around $44,000.

“It involves moving a door, moving a heater, hitting conduits, electric lines, putting them back, installation of temperature control lines,” Leikvold said. 

The change orders will be paid for from the contingency fund.

School board member Tim Madsen asked if the schedule would be drastically changed with the change orders submitted.

“They’ve also asked for a 13-day extension, but the most significant part will be done by the time school starts, so there is no disruption to the school day,” Leikvold said.

The estimated date of completion for the elevator portion of the project is September 21.

The tuckpointing and retaining wall projects at the elementary school and the tuck pointing at the high school remain on track.

Phase 2 of the facility update plan involves remodeling the third and fourth floors in the 1924 portion of Lead-Deadwood Elementary School in 2019 and the first and second floors in 2020. Plans also call for renovating the existing auditorium and making it larger by taking out the music room in the back in 2019. In 2020, the school office will be moved to the ground floor and the main entrance will change.

“There is a recommendation from the contractor to bid all of phase two out at once,” Leikvold said. “I will bring it to the August 14 board meeting for approval, then go out for bids. We have a budget and we need to stay within the budget. We won’t know until we get the bids back if we are within budget or not. If you will recall, we have funding in place for phases one and two, but we don’t have it in place for phase three. Phase three is basically at zero. We won’t bid that portion out until a year from September, maybe two years from September.”

Phase 3 work will entail remodeling the 1985 portion of the elementary school building, including the cafeteria.

The district’s overall facilities update plan comes at an estimated cost of $12 million. 

Tentative plans call for completing the third and fourth floor elementary school renovations in 2019. These renovations involve addressing ventilation and adding bigger rooms, at an estimated $2.6 million.

Tentative plans call for completing the first and second floors in 2020.

These renovations involve enlarging the rooms, at an estimated cost of $1.5 million.

A long-term facilities plan was developed in 2016 to address the district’s declining enrollment by repurposing and rehabbing its three buildings to more cost-effectively house students.

The current facilities plan calls for $9.3 million in elementary school updates and $2.3 million high school building updates to accommodate grade levels 6-12 and at some point, possibly closing the middle school in Lead after it is used as a transition facility while updates to the other two schools are being completed, with approximately $72,000 in renovation costs at the middle school.

The recommendation to close a school is based on an enrollment study that projects a decline from current levels of 680 to 500 in 2025.

Plans do not call for closing any buildings for at least four years, as the district watches an enrollment “bubble” of students, consisting of fifth- through seventh-grades  approximately a group of 180 total, which is projected to shrink to approximately 130.

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