Dryden remodel downsized

Renovation plans altered to stay within school district budget

Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Renovation of Floyd Dryden Middle School will have to be scaled back or done in two phases, the Juneau School Board Facilities Committee determined Tuesday.

The committee forwarded a scaled-back $5.3 million Dryden renovation plan to the full School Board, which is expected to send it to the Juneau Assembly for approval in mid-October.

To meet budget constraints, the scope of plan had to be downsized. Along with numerous cuts to materials and small projects such as skylights, the new plan will not include a reconfigured administration area, which school staff wanted for security reasons. It also will not reclaim unused space in the locker room area to help relieve overcrowding. At Tuesday's meeting, board members and city employees proposed the renovation package be the first part of a larger project.

Changes in the Floyd Dryden remodel

• Drastically reduce wall and floor ceramic tile replacement and installation: $126,195.

• Change the quality of roof insulation: $53,500.

• Forgo proposed changes to the configuration of the administrative area to accomodate security concerns: $53,260.

• Reduce the number of acoustic ceiling tiles to be replaced: $39,800.

• Forgo proposed renovation of the locker-room area to reclaim unused space:

$33,879.

"We (city and school district staff) have come to a unanimous position, we need to define this thing as a two-phase project," said City Architect Catherine Fritz. "There is a serious shortfall to make this building equivalent to (Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School)."

The proposed renovation plan would improve the gymnasium, replace portions the school's roof, update some surfaces with new paint and carpet, and help bring the school into better compliance with the American Disabilities Act, which requires that the building be accessible to people in wheelchairs.

The second phase of the project could include some of the items cut out, Fritz said. She said some items, such as the space reclamation in the locker room, would be too costly to do after the first renovation.

At a Facilities Committee meeting Sept. 17, the new schematic design estimate revealed a construction cost of $4.6 million, raising the total project cost to $6.2 million, close to $1 million over budget. The higher price was due in part to increased labor costs and an inaccurate early estimate. The school and city staff responded with cuts.

To balance the construction portion of the plan's budget, which is still projected at close to $200,000 more than the original construction budget despite the cuts, Facility Committee members agreed to support a proposal that would use money earmarked for school furnishings. According to Fritz, the furnishings money may be found later.

"There is always the possibility for additional funding found that was not exhausted by another project," she said.

Facilities Committee member Stan Ridgeway, who is running for the Assembly, said the city panel could appropriate more money to the Dryden project, as it has to the Juneau-Douglas High School renovation, to help cover the relatively small budget gap.

"When we started talking about building the new high school, a lot of people complained that DZ was modern, and Floyd Dryden didn't measure up," he said. "We should push to do the project (fully). Is there any way do it without cutting back?"

Not at this point, according to Chuck Cohen, a School Board member who chairs the Facilities Committee.

"At the end of the day, it seems to me, the Assembly needs to understand that we did the best we can with what we got," Cohen said.

Julia O'Malley can be reached at jomalley@juneauempire.com.



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