Since the bond issue passed two months ago, a lot of work has been going on behind the scenes so we can get to work this coming summer on projects to keep our students Safe, Warm, Dry and Prepared for the Future. The bonds must be issued and proceeds invested, architects and construction managers hired, work prioritized, designed and scheduled.
The Board of Education authorized the issuance of the first series of bonds not to exceed $40.5 million at the November 24th Board meeting and we are working with our legal counsel and financial adviser to ensure the bonds will be issued by mid-February. We have also been meeting with various investment firms keeping safety, liquidity and maximum yield as our priorities as we make our decision.
Much of the work to be completed in the first series requires Architectural Design and Construction Management services, so Requests for Proposals (RFP’s) were prepared and published in mid-November. Thirteen architectural and construction firms participated in a mandatory walk-through led by Rex Clary, Facilities Director on November 25th, the day before Thanksgiving. Bids were received December 4th and after a final in-depth presentation and interview process with the top three architectural and construction management firms, Kingscott and Clark Construction were selected.
In preparing to issue the RFP’s, the Series 1 projects were prioritized and rough completion timelines were developed. Much of the Series 1 work revolves around safety and security – secure entrances and safer traffic patterns for drop off/pick up and bus drop off. Other projects will include classroom updates for Next Generation learning and energy efficiency projects such as lighting replacements and HVAC updates. We plan to complete the majority of work for the secure entrances and safer traffic patterns during the summer of 2016.
A preliminary design meeting was held on December 21st, which included the Saline Area Schools Bond Committee and representatives for both Kingscott and Clark Construction. Consultants with expertise in areas such as security, technology and traffic patterns will be included as needed and weekly meetings have been scheduled to ensure successful completion of our Series 1 projects.
We will continue to work “behind the scenes” to make sure our bond projects are successful and we want to make sure information is provided to the community in a way that makes sense. Toward that end, Superintendent Graden will conduct focus groups on January 25th and 26th to see how the public would like to receive information on the bond projects, progress updates and how the projects will impact the district.