The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 15, 2007

R-9 board endorses school building plans


By Susan Redden

sredden@joplinglobe.com

CARTHAGE, Mo. — A new Carthage High School will include an auxiliary gymnasium and several other alternatives, but a contract to be acted on Monday won’t include renovations to current high school.

That project will be undertaken separately, along with renovations to high school field house near K.E. Baker Stadium.

Members of Carthage R-9 School Board endorsed recommendations from school staff and the district architect in adopting a building package including a base bid of nearly $29.4 million and about $2 million in additional alternatives. Crossland Construction Co. is the low bidder on the building, and a formal contract is to be awarded when the board meets Monday.

Superintendent Gary Reed said the project came in about $378,000 more than officials had planned, but said the additions recommended would make the building “serviceable and economical.”

The most costly addition endorsed by the board was a $1.6 million auxiliary gymnasium, while other additions included landscaping, irrigation, wiring for security systems, skylights and terrazzo tile in some high traffic areas.

The board trimmed some skylights, but left others, along with the tile, after Gary Jackson, architect with Hight-Jackson Associates, said the alternates would reduce power and maintenance costs.

District funds for the project include $30 million in bonds approved by voters, about $4.5 million in interest earnings on the bonds, and another $5 million in capital projects funds. About $2.2 million in district funds already have been spent or committed to buy the 80-acre building site at River Street and Airport Drive, and for site excavation. The contract amount does not include other items such as street and sewer costs, and architectural fees.

Other costs will be covered as part of a performance contract under which the district will use a lease-purchase plan to install high-efficiency equipment including heating, air-conditioning and lighting, with costs of that equipment to be paid off over energy savings.

The board also endorsed Jackson’s recommendation to drop the high-school renovation from the project and to reject a separate bid on the field-house renovation. The architect said both bids — $458,000 for the high-school renovation and $305,000 for the field house — came in over estimates. He said the work can be completed at a lower cost with the district acting as its own contractor.

The alternative that prompted the most discussion was telescoping bleachers for the gymnasium, bid at $61,000. Without those bleachers, the gym would seat about 1,900. But seating for 2,200 is needed for Carthage to be the host for a district tournament, said board member Mark Westhoff.

“I really think we’ll catch a lot of heat if we build a new gym that’s not big enough to host a district tournament,” he said.

Others on the board said savings in the project could allow the additional seats to be added later, or portable seating could be brought in to expand the gym’s capacity.



Time and place

The contract will be among a variety of issues to be acted on when the board meets at 6 p.m. Monday at Fairview Elementary School, 1201 E. Fairview Ave.