Posted Date: 06/20/2017
Credit- Standard Democrat
Sikeston R-6 School District’s project to construct its newest school, Wing Elementary, is moving along as planned.
“There have been a lot of meetings the administration has had with the architect,” Sikeston R-6 Superintendent Tom Williams. “We’re currently in the design phase.”
Since Sikeston R-6 voters approved the bond issue during the April 4 election, the Board has gone through floor plans and spaces to reconfirm space needs are met. The Board has also met with the engineering consultants to confirm building system space needs and discuss building system options.
“Our architect (Fleming Architects) met with the board (during the June 7 work session) and that was a really good discussion,” Williams said. “Input from that meeting will be used for revisions and we’ll go from there.”
Williams noted the conceptual design originally presented has reshaped due to feedback from those meetings.
During its regular meeting Tuesday, the Board approved naming the new school Wing Elementary after Scott Matthews, whose family donated the land to the district, asked the board to consider naming the school after a family name on his mother’s side.
The Board also made the decision to use a “construction manager at-risk” for the construction delivery method for the new elementary building.
According to state statute, the district must determine a construction delivery method, which could be a general contractor or a construction manager. In August 2016, statutes changed in terms of what a construction manager can do, and that position is now called a construction manager at-risk, Williams said.
“It’s a blend of that of a construction manager and a general contractor. A construction manager at-risk is hired early on and they’re involved in the design phase along with the architect,” Williams said.
This differs from a general contractor, who is not engaged in the project until after the drawings are 100 percent complete.
“Not only are construction managers at-risk involved before construction but also during the building process itself,” Williams said. “They can bid on projects like a general contractor, or they can accept bids to represent the school district and get things done through a subcontractor. Plus, they’re also monitoring that of the process.”
With the process underway to have the construction manager at-risk on board during the design phases, the next step is to order soil testing, Williams said.
“This is a big project. We are planning for 55,000 to 60,000 square feet of space,” Williams said.
Currently, the goal is for the building to be substantially completed by spring 2019.
“Some people may be thinking we should already be turning dirt, but we purposely didn’t do any of that legwork upfront because we wanted to be as open and allow our community to have as much input into what’s going on as possible,” Williams said.
For example, Williams said he spoke to Jackson R-2 school officials recently. Jackson voters also approved a no-tax increase bond issue for new construction in the April election.
“Jackson had everything planned out and hired a construction manager at-risk before their bond passed, and they’re going right now,” Williams said.
He estimated Jackson’s project scheduled is probably eight months to a year ahead of Sikeston’s simply because they did that legwork before the election.
“We tried that in 2014 and it didn’t work, and the community spoke to us and said we want more input,” Williams said. “So that’s what we did with the town hall meetings and surveys, and we listened to them. We feel like this project is a reflection of our community’s support. It’s been tremendous what they’ve done for us.”
From now through August, the Board will go through the schematic design phase, which includes hiring the construction manager at-risk and involving the Board in key aesthetic and space design options.
During this time period, the project will also include incorporating engineering consultants’ space requirements into plan, developing graphics for presentations and publicity as required and confirming permitting required by state and local laws.
The design development phase is planned for August through October with the construction document phase taking place between Oct. 15 and Jan. 1, 2018. There will be a bid phase from Jan. 15, 2018, to March 1, 2018, and permit and mobilization from March 1 through April 1 with the construction phase slated for April 1, 2018, through June 1, 2019, weather permitting.
Currently, the move-in time frame for the school is June 1, 2019, to July 31, 2019, with school beginning in the new building at the start of the 2019-2020 school year in August 2019.