HARTINGTON — The Hartington-Newcastle School Board spent time Monday reviewing plans and proposals in an effort to cut some costs for a recently approved school addition project.
During a special meeting in June, the Board accepted an $8.446 million bid from Radec Construction to build an addition for new classrooms, gym and stage onto the south of the HNS elementary building. At the time the bid was ap
At the time the bid was approved, Board members said they would meet with RaDec and the architect to go over the plans with a fine-tooth comb in order to find some savings.
Also Monday, the Board passed a new resolution for the lease-purchase agreement for the addition, which will allow the school to borrow up to $7 million for the project.
The Board had previously passed a resolution to borrow up to $6 million, but that was before supply chain issues and inflation started driving prices up.
The project is being financed through the school's capital improvement fund and a lease-purchase agreement. The Bank of Hartington agreed to cover $2 million of the project, while Wisner-based Citizens State Bank will cover $5 million, both at an interest rate of 3.5 percent.
The building fund will be used to cover the rest of the expenses.
RaDec’s Trent Becker told the Board his company worked with the school’s architectural firm to come up with a list of 24 items where they felt changes could be made.
“Our intent is to take some items out of the project without affecting the quality or causing future maintenance issues,’’ Becker said.
The board went through the list item by item with Becker before agreeing to make 12 changes to trim $192,445 off of the total construction bill.
The biggest cost-saving measures involve changes to the roof and the upper exterior brick around the new gym.
Becker said a subcontractor on the project, Guarantee Roofing of Norfolk, “really went to bat for you.”
They met with the architects and determined that a proposed $31,000 roofing vapor barrier was not necessary and should not be a part of this project.
“This is a no-brainer,’’ Becker said. ‘’It makes perfect sense to make this change,’’
RaDec also proposed using an exterior insulation finish system material in place of brick on the top portion of the exterior gym wall, which would result in a cost savings of $27,000. The material also has a better insulation rating than brick.
Replacing the upper brick with EIFS will also allow the building to be enclosed quicker, which could lead to a quicker finish date, Becker said.
Becker said several other Hartington buildings were built with this same EIFS material, including: the Cedar County Courthouse addition, Cedar Knox Public Power District, Bank of Hartington, Security bank and Trinity Lutheran Church.
The school is able to save an additional $17,000 by having school staff or volunteers remove the chain link fence that will need to be taken down before construction can begin.
The board is also considering changes to the HVAC and mechanical systems being proposed for the new addition, but more research will be required before any changes are made there, Board members said.
In reviewing the specs, the board also discovered two areas where a bigger expenditure will be required.
One additional expense was for insulation and sound proofing of the gym walls all the way to the roof deck. The original specs called for the insulation and sound proofing to end a few feet short of the roof deck. That plan, however, does not meet state code, so an additional $26,820 expenditure is required in order to bring the project up to code.
Board members felt this was a mistake that should be accounted for and directed Supt. Johnson to contact the architectural firm to discuss the issue.
The board also agreed to spend an additional $750 to use a four-inch PVC pipe to bring water service into the building instead of the two-inch copper water service suggested by the architect.
Work is expected to begin on the project Aug. 1, with a completion date scheduled for late summer of 2024, so the facility can be used for the 2024-25 school year.
Also Monday, the Board approved a three percent raise for non-certified staff for the 2022-23 school year.
The next Hartington-Newcastle School Board meeting is set for Aug. 15, at 5:30 p.m.