Builder weighs in on school bond

I have been asked this question many times recently: Do I really believe that the middle school needs to be removed down to the slab and foundation?

No. No. No! I believe after walking through the middle school with Scott Lancaster and others that the old middle school is in pretty good shape. Just take a walk through the library. I wrote the letter about the concrete because everyone can agree that concrete is not a temporary material and if the existing slab was “large enough” then at least that large amount of money could be saved.

This is what I would do now if I was on the school board. First I would hire Duke Contracting Services or equal to inspect both the elementary and middle school roofs and furnish an estimate of how many years left before replacement and about how much to reroof each.

Second, I would hire Needham Construction or equal to estimate the costs on the middle school buildings of nailing the existing plywood siding to shear wall specs, and to remove all the interior gypsum wall board on the exterior walls and then drill and grout the required bolts to meet the current earthquake specs.

Then add fire rated gypsum board to both sides of the exterior walls as required by the fire specs and finish the exterior with siding to match that proposed for the high school. Also cost the ramps or lift and railings for handicap access and the life safety part of the deal is about done.

Then I would try to convince my fellow school board members to explain to the voters what needs will not fit into the existing Middle School and how much space each of these require.

The voters do not want their money spent on cost plus contracts! My only non-negotiable position is that when the school bond is passed, the work is put out for competitive bidding, as the Deer Harbor Fire Station was. There are many advantages to the competitive bidding to the owner, such as a Base Bid for the minimum scope with additive alternates that may be added within 30 or 90 days of the NTP (notice to proceed).

George Larson

Builder of the 1980s school campus project