At last night's school board meeting Burt, Hill presented the most recent cost estimates for the District's natatorium project. Their latest estimate is $6.5 million, well over the original $5 million and June's estimate of $5.2 million. June's revised estimate was based on Burt, Hill's recommendation to go with a metal structure vs. the original masonry structure in order to help the District realize a cost savings.
Reasons cited for the new estimate included material shortages due to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, increases in excavation, plumbing, HVAC and structure increases. The structure increases came from "having more information." They've determined that the pool would now need two dehumidification units vs. one and an increased size of caissons, meaning greater material costs. As I understand it, this size increase is due to the weight bearing the caissons achieve in a metal structure vs. a masonry structure.
Board members asked whether this new estimate is, in fact, less expensive than going with the original masonry plan and also decided not to move forward with the plan until after receiving the Municipality’s decision regarding zoning variances. That decision won’t come before January – after a new board is in place. By that time, there may be enough information about the high school renovation to determine whether it would make more sense to include the pool as a part of that project.
Another highlight from the meeting was Dr. Wilson and Dr. Allen's report on the status of the strategic plan. More information, including a "strategy map" are available here
. Some of the goals set for this year include revising the budget process, developing a master facilities plan for the high school and seeking alternative funding sources. The twelve goals Dr. Wilson mentioned, which included goals for student achievement, constituent satisfaction, employee development, alignment of support services and fiscal responsibility have a target completion date of the end of the school year.