Cost to construct new preschool estimated at over $21 million

Published 5:00 pm Thursday, September 29, 2022

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The bids are in to construct the new Clark County Preschool facility; as expected, it will be an expensive process with a $21.2 million price tag.

John Hagan of Codell Construction, who facilitated the bid process, explained.

“The price didn’t land exactly where had hoped,” Hagan said.

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The good news is that Hagan believes that with “value engineering and competitive negotiation,” the project cost could decrease.

Hagan informed the board that bids opened on Sept. 15 and that the project drew significant interest.

“We had a really great turnout. We had 52 bids overall across the various bid packages … That shows that it is a pretty attractive project,” Hagan said.

The board postponed any action on the bids until a special meeting in November.

The project was formally approved in Oct. 2020 after pleas from the community to replace the preschool’s current location at 30 Beckner St., which many consider badly outdated.

In May 2021, the board chose a 12-acre site behind Strode Station Elementary School for the planned 42,466 square foot, 18-classroom facility that will accommodate 350 students with space left over to expand if enrollment increases.

The project cost has risen over the last year.

At the time of approval, construction was estimated to cost $9.3 million but has risen significantly in the past year. The estimated cost was 13.6 million in January and rose to $20 million in April.

The board heard about and approved several BG-1 applications for district facility improvements.

A BG-1 is required by the Kentucky Department of Education when a school district project uses a restricted or state fund source such as Support Education Excellence in Kentucky, proposes construction that requires a design professional, or proposes a guaranteed savings contract.

The BG-1s approved were:

• A $137, 337.50 project to replace the gymnasium floor at Strode Station Elementary School and a $464,500.00 project to place a gym wall veneer in the same space.

• A $180,440.00 project to replace the gymnasium bleachers at Baker Intermediate School.

• A $303,805.00 project to replace the gymnasium bleachers at Campbell Junior High School.

The board also approved a request for $7,356.37 to recondition the football helmets used by the Campbell football team.

A proposal to replace the lights around the football complex at Justice Elementary School was tabled to allow for further discussion at a future meeting.

Working Budget

The board approved the district’s working budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year.

This year’s budget is $65,542,942.

Director of Finance Aleisha Ellis said there is $3.6 million from more than expected revenue but also $5.1 million in expected expenditures.

Most of the added expenditures are from a $3.1 million rotational fund that the district will set aside for items such as furniture, playgrounds, roof repair, and emergency maintenance items

New Buses

The board approved a request to purchase two new school buses and tint 20 windows on the existing ones already used by the district.

“It will help tremendously with the heat on the buses,” said the district’s transportation supervisor, Denny Ford, about the tinted windows.

The two new school buses will come with air conditioning and tinted windows.

Ford said the new buses would be used for trips over two hours away and help with route overcrowding since the vehicles would be larger.

The new buses will cost $352,580.