September 26, 2012 | LXXII, No. 25

New school plans altered to save money

The “value engineering” firm, OAC of Spokane, has saved the school district a ton of money.

The firm was hired in mid-August to review all the plans for the new K-12 school facility, and has come up with revisions and suggestions that could knock $750,000 out of the cost of the project.

The school board moved on a number of suggestions made by OAC at its meeting recently.

The value engineering group is made up of architects, engineers and other building experts who met with the district’s architects, engineers and education officials at least twice, and came up with a number of plan adjustments.

The review of plans in the value engineering program is a requirement by the Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to assure that local districts engaged in a building program get the best “bang for the buck,” as one official described it.

The school board awarded OAC the contract at a price of $47,500.

Some of the highlights of the report, and what was agreed to by the school board include:

Elimination of one elevator (savings $79,000); eliminate doors on restrooms in both the K-6 and 7-12 wings (savings $70,000); put all heat pumps above the second-floor ceilings (savings $75,000); alternate low voltage systems (savings $3,000); use steel in lieu of wood for exterior brace features (savings $4,000); explore alternates to floor finishes on the second floor (savings being explored); use wide flange beams in lieu of glu-lam beams (savings $100,000); adjust wall layout in the administration area to use braced frames in lieu of moment frames (savings $10,000); reduce the number of small group and in-school suspension rooms (savings $5,000); share one restroom between two kindergarten rooms and delete restrooms in first-grade classrooms (savings $15,000); relocate the painted game area to the fire lane (savings $5,000); align the building design and the education space with current enrollment projections instead of for 800 students (savings $300,000); use an alternate material instead of metal for pitched roofs (bid alternate, est. savings $200,000); and lower the building as much as possible to maintain an exit onto Crest Drive from the parent drop-off area and maintain a 50- by 60-yard play area (estimated savings $250,000).

A number of small adjustments were also proposed by OAC’s experts.

The exact savings will be adjusted according to estimates made after redrawing the changes, school officials stated.

The school board declined some suggestions because they would alter the design of the building too drastically, one such suggestion being a flat roof.

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