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School board approves three-year capital improvement plan

Staff can now pursue specs and bids for projects

Cars fill the parking lot at the Creston Community Elementary/Middle School building this morning. Limited parking spaces creates congestion during events held at the school, making it one of the district's top priorities in the three-year capital improvement plan.
Cars fill the parking lot at the Creston Community Elementary/Middle School building this morning. Limited parking spaces creates congestion during events held at the school, making it one of the district's top priorities in the three-year capital improvement plan.

Creston Community School District Board of Directors unanimously approved a three-year major construction project plan during Monday’s special board meeting.

With final results tabulated from Superintendent Steve McDermott’s major construction project survey he distributed to the public, McDermott presented a plan to the board Monday.

“I’m excited. It’s kind of intimidating to look at some of these projects, but as far as community assets, we’re trying to move these things forward,” McDermott said. “We’ve got the capacity to do it. Even if this plan is approved, that doesn’t really lock things down other than what we would try to pursue for specs and for bid process. The board would have to formally approve, accept a bid for each one of these and each and every phase of each one of these.”

According to the total raw scores of McDermott’s survey, the Early Childhood Center bus pick-up and drop-off received the highest score from survey participants, followed closely by additional parking at the elementary/middle school and an adaptive playground at the EMS.

The ECC Hurley Creek storm sewer repair and stadium renovation with field turf both checked in with scores just under 3,000.

McDermott stressed during Monday’s meeting that just because the three-year plan is approved does not mean certain projects are tied into being done in the years for which they have been budgeted.

Many of the projects have similar price estimates and can be swapped out for one another.

“We are trying to do best guesstimates,” CCSD Business Manager Billie Jo Greene said. “Until those estimates come in or until those bids come in, then that might change – it might push something back, it might push something forward.”

Year one

The first year of the capital improvement plan is slated for FY19, or the 2018-19 school year.

Projects listed under FY19 include visitor’s side stadium bleachers at $125,000, field turf at $1.2 million, additional parking at the EMS at $500,000 and ECC playground at $200,000.

“Honestly, the idea was looking at our survey and thinking about needs at each building,” McDermott said. “This plan sort of gets something for each building in year one, then in year two and year three.”

McDermott said the price estimates he has included on the budget are conservative, in order to make sure everything will fit within the budget even if the projects reach the maximum cost.

“I do think we need an initial plan approved fairly soon in order to get some of these projects going,” McDermott said. “If these are going to happen before school starts next fall, we’ve got to get moving.”

Additional parking at the EMS is one project that could see its cost grow. McDermott said he is looking at several different options for this project, including moving where buses pick up and drop off students. (Pictured, ABOVE, are cars lining the parking spaces at the EMS building.)

One advantage of installing the field turf in year one is that project would open up other spots on campus for some of the other projects.

If approved in January, McDermott said the field turf project could be complete by the fall.

Year two

FY20 calls for a concession stand area at the stadium for $100,000, construction of six tennis courts on the high school campus for $600,000 and an adaptive playground at $500,000.

McDermott said he envisions tennis courts being constructed near the bus barn, allowing for easy access to physical education students.

The second year of the plan also included updates to the track at $175,000, but McDermott said that project may be delayed or considered in phases at a later time.

Year three

FY21 calls for the Hurley Creek storm sewer project at $300,000, the Elm Street update at the ECC for $300,000 and the ECC driveway pick-up and drop-off at $200,000.

Even though the ECC bus pick-up and drop-off received the highest total raw score on the public survey, it was scheduled in year three of the plan because of possible funding streams.

The district is looking into the possibility of securing Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or Homeland Security funding for the Hurley Creek storm sewer repair project.

Part of those discussions include replacing the old gym at the ECC complex with a new one built on the northwest corner of the ECC site. If that were to happen, the proposed bus pick-up and drop-off driveway near the same area would need to be coordinated accordingly.

“There’s really other years to place that one, if we need to,” McDermott said. “That project is out there and the Hurley Creek project is out there because of some of these unknowns with FEMA and other things.”

The approval of this plan now allows CCSD staff to pursue specs and bids for projects, giving the district more accurate cost estimates, which may or may not affect the order in which projects are completed.

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