SLSD updated on bond, construction projects


M

att Allen can finally breathe a little easier. The South Lane School District Maintenance and Facilities manager has been working on the new Harrison Elementary School from its infancy and the finish line is now in sight.

“Everything is just starting to take shape and it’s starting to feel like home. Like a building we’re going to settle into,” Allen told the board at Monday night’s school board meeting.

“I’m not worried now.”

With all major construction projects out of the way, Allen reported that from now until August, when furniture will be put in the building, the focus has changed.

“Just the fine details. When you walk around, I mean, I’m not a perfectionist but it’s going to be right and tight. And our general contractors are like-minded,” he said. “They’re proud. And we have subs that are from here and they’re proud. So, it just feels good. Everybody wants this.”

Glass has been placed in windows, and flooring and electronics are now making their way into the building. 

“It’s coming alive now,” he said.

Allen also reported on the other main project that SLSD is working on: the pool renovation. 

With money from a 2016 bond, the school district will be updating the Warren H. Daughtery Aquatic Center. With that money, the district is scheduled to spend $5.1 million on the pool. The estimation for the current pool is currently at $5.7 million. While community donors are working to raise enough to cover the difference,  Allen is also working to avoid price escalation that has been seen in other district projects as well as around the state. 

“When you’re pushing through a design… there’s room for design cost escalation, material inflation, all those things. Those are variables that you have to build in at a really big contingency,” said Allen. 

“And I don’t think we want to do that with the pool. With the pool we want to be finalized in design and hard bid this project. That way when we come to you we’re not telling you what we hope the project will cost, we’ll be telling you what the project will cost.”

The renovation project will see new locker rooms at the aquatic center as well as a pool that is regulation length so that events can be held there. The pool will also feature wider steps that can be used for swimming lessons. 

“We will be concise going into this pool project and South Lane will be proud,” said Allen.

The pool is scheduled to close in September and will be closed for 11 months while the project is being completed. 

Swim teams are expected to use nearby facilities to maintain their practice schedule. The district will fund transportation costs. 

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