Planners list optional items for new school

More parking spaces, bleacher seats in gym among additional options

Posted: Wednesday, October 22, 2003

The planned high school at Dimond Park may not include artificial surfaces for the playing field or the running track, 150 additional parking spaces, 350 more bleacher seats in the gym or the longest-lasting surfaces on some floors and walls.

That all depends on how low the low construction bid is. Those items are not within the $44.2 million construction budget. But several million additional dollars in the project's budget are held as a contingency - a reserve to cover unforeseen expenses.

If the bid for the basic work comes in low enough, the city could award further work, called "additive alternates," which are common in large projects.

Officials are aiming to seek bids for the construction work on the 1,050-student Mendenhall Valley school in April 2004, with work to begin that summer and end by the late summer of 2006.

To meet the city's standard for the proportion of added work to basic work, the school's planners had to cut $500,000 from $3.75 million in possible extra work.

Three Assembly members and three School Board members are voting members of the planning team. They decided Tuesday to delete proposed lighting at the sports field and higher-capacity audio and video equipment in the auditorium, gym and commons.

The team was willing to drop the roughly $400,000 cost of lighting the playing field, because the field isn't intended to hold games and it won't have spectator stands. The audio and video upgrades also seemed unnecessary, members said.

The team decided that upgrading the finishes on interior walls and floors should be the priority if there's money to pay for it. Architects Rich Ritter and Paul Voelckers said, as an example, that ceramic floor tiles cost less to maintain than vinyl tiles, and they last a couple of decades longer.

The bleachers in the additive alternate hold 350 seats that would overlook the upper story of the gym. Without those seats, the gym would seat about 1,650 people, architects said.

The 150 parking spaces in the additive alternate, if not built, would come out of the 450 spaces allotted for students.

The playing field and running track, without the upgrades in the additive alternate, would be gravel.

The city's decision on what extra work to award will be made by a committee after bids are received, and it's clear how much money is available, said city Engineering Director Roger Healy.

When companies bid on the basic work, they usually offer bids on each of the additive alternates.

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