auditorium. But school officials are hopeful they have enough to complete
a major overhaul of the aging facility.
"We're thankful for everything that we get," co-principal Gary Talbert
With funding capped at $45 million and much of the work still to be
bid on, Talbert and others can only cross their fingers and hope they
have enough money to complete the project.
A gym, library-media-career center and two new classroom buildings are
just some elements of the project.
"We really don't know how far this will get us," said school planner
Linda Jensen of the $45-million allocation. "We think this will finish
the project but we don't have a lot of control over the bidding process."
Previous estimates for the project, originally expected to cost about
$22 million, have proven less than accurate. Though project officials
must now contend with a funding cap, they also have a $3-million
contingency fee for dealing with unforeseen expenses.
Jensen said working with a funding cap isn't a problem.
"We've always been living within a budget," she said.
Four rounds of cuts have been made to the project by the committee of
parents, staff and community members overseeing the effort, Jensen said.
"We've been reducing the scope of the project at every step of the
way," she said. "It definitely is an economical project. We don't have a
lot of fancy things in this."
Jensen said she was pleased with the Board of Education's approval
this week of a phasing plan that gives priority to construction of two
The plan places the renovation of the first and third floors of two
existing buildings last.
"It's a logical move," Jensen said. "We've concentrated on the areas
that serve the most students and were in the worst shape."
Project officials expect the renovations to be completed by September