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School Board approves change order for Buchanan project

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 26th, 2014

HURON — The Huron Public School Board approved a $30,504 change order for the renovations and additions to Buchanan Elementary School.

Business Manager Kelly Christopherson discussed a list of 12 changes that had been submitted to the district and at that time said that the official change order would follow.

Some of the changes actually subtracted costs, thus giving the district added saving. The bulk of the changes that cost money were involved in a pair of issues with the sound system and kitchen areas of the school.

Christopherson had explained that the district is trying to keep both the sound system and kitchens at what will become the three elementary grade centers as identical as possible.

However, when bidding the Buchanan site, some of these costs were not known but where expected.

Board member Sherman Gose asked Christopherson if there is a contingency fund for these types of things and Christopherson responded it was standard to set aside 3 percent of the total cost for such items.

In this case, the Buchanan project was expected to cost $7.1 million and, thus, there should be around $200,000 for these types of changes.

Christopherson also said at a prior meeting that the bulk of the changes are likely to made when the renovation process gets under way, as the contractors will run into challenges when unforeseen changes will need to be made due to the school’s original construction.

The kitchen changes are expected to cost $24,790, while the sound system is projected at $10,393.

The kitchen changes also come with the expectation that it will take nine additional days for completion of the contract.

The changes could make the kitchen area’s availability at the beginning of the school year “iffy,” however, contingencies are in place, and it is expected that the time frame for completion would not be a prolonged problem.

The district currently cooks all of its entrées at the middle school and ships them out from there on a daily basis.

So each site is only required for putting together the rest of the meal.

And as for the overall readiness of Buchanan, Christopherson said that the message has been made clear to the contractors.

“Everyone from the general contractor to the sub-contractors, the architect — they all know we are starting school on time, and they will prioritize the areas of the school that need to be done so we can operate the school,” said Christopherson. “That is a topic of every meeting we have.”

Of the 13 items that were asked to be approved, all but two got the green light.

Two items that saved the district money were a $3,811 electrical allowance credit and a flooring change that saved $1,173.

The board unanimously approved the change order.

It also approved an agreement with the Huron Chamber and Visitors Bureau to allow the use of school buses for a pair of summer events.

The first is for the National Red Power Roundup, a tractor convention, that will run from June 26-28.

The second is a more familiar use for the buses, as they will be used for transportation to the South Dakota State Fair Aug. 28-Sept. 1.

The difference this year is that school will not begin until Tuesday, Sept. 2.

The board also gave its approval to five grants meant to help fund a pair of middle school projects.

Three of the grants will try to provide the means for the Missoula Children’s Theater to come in the fall and produce the middle school play.

The middle school’s Marianne Trandall was on hand to present the grant request.

She said the cost for the program would be $2,650 and is all inclusive.

“So they come for a week and they do two shows, and they have like 50 or 60 kids in the show which is far more than we can handle by ourselves,” said Trandall. “It would give the middle school the opportunity to have a lot more students involved in the middle school play, and they bring in all the props, and makeup, and all the costuming which we have none of.”

They also provide learning opportunities throughout the week for middle school students.

The school play funding is a challenge, but it does also come with a reward for future revenue with the program.

The district would be able to keep the profits from ticket sales, along with other revenue opportunities such as merchandise; for example, DVD broadcasts of the show could be sold, along with T-shirts, programs and the like.

Those fund then can be used to fund subsequent year’s productions.

The grants involved are coming from the South Dakota Arts Council, three of which could amount to $1,500 to $2,000.

The other grant involves the eighth grade school trip that is taken in the spring.

This year the students are expected to visit Watertown, with a trip to a museum and then the zoo.

She said that most of the cost is transportation along with a cost of admittance to the zoo. The museum is a no-cost opportunity.

The grants they are applying for include a Huron Community Foundation grant for $500 and a South Dakota Arts Council grant for $500.

For the complete article see the 02-25-2014 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 02-25-2014 paper.

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