Project construction continues to run smoothly

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 11/22/00.

While the project's finances are tight, the actual construction continues to run smoothly. Due to the above normal temperatures in October and the lack of rain this summer, construction work on the $3.4 million fitness center and auditorium is ahead of schedule.

Steve Dilallo, site manager for the E & V Consultants, said the project is at least a month ahead of schedule. The masonry walls went up ahead of schedule. With the walls and roofline in place, it allowed many contractors to get an early start. A large portion of the mechanical work, which was not expected to be done until March, is partially completed.

The brick work—which wasn't expected to start until Oct. 16—is nearly completed. Dilallo said they have probably 5,000 bricks left to put on the building out of 100,000.

Dilallo expects the rubber roof to be in place by early December. Once the roof is completed, his construction office will move into the fitness center, saving the district the rental expense of the trailer he has been utilizing for his office.

Getting work done quickly should help save additional money. The project started with $75,000 for construction support (heat, portable toilets, rental fees, etc.). If construction continues to run smoothly and gets done ahead of schedule, more money from that fund will be left over.

School administration and project professionals have said that the school is going to get a great facility for its money. "I feel the people will be real pleased with the end result," said superintendent Howard Caldwell.

Caldwell hopes the district can get by without using any more of the contingency or support fund.

Many changes have been made in an attempt to keep the project on track and within budget.

In some cases, especially early in the project, more money was spent to insure a quality end project. For instance, the district spent $23,000 more than budgeted for proper drainage for the new tennis courts.

A concern for the district is that if the project is completed too early, the district will lose interest money. The $3.4 million in construction funds have been invested until needed. The district expects to receive about $135,000 in interest. If the project ends too soon, they could fail to earn some of that interest.

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