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DYS renovation project re-tendered

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A project to build a new classroom wing at Donald Young School in Emo has been re-tendered.

“We tendered an original package for the construction of the new classroom wing and when it closed the end of September, beginning of October, it came in over budget,” noted Travis Enge, manager of plant operations and maintenance for the Rainy River District School Board.

“So we looked at our options and decided to cancel the tender as that was the only option available to us,” he said.

Instead of making changes to the design in order to bring the build within budget, it was decided a change to the build schedule perhaps would decrease the cost.

“We figured that doing a winter construction period does add costs—you have to heat and hoard, and you’re sometimes digging in the snow and dealing with frost issues and things like that,” Enge reasoned.

After working closely with members of LM Architectural Group on the design last year, the board had expected the project to break ground in September and be completed in time for the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year.

“So we pushed the schedule out so now the school will be ready for the following year, the 2017-2018 school year,” Enge noted.

“In doing that, we were able to redo the schedule and basically change the scope of the project so that a lot of the construction will happen this summer,” he explained.

“We’re hoping that with that change, it will bring the costs down within budget.”

The kindergarten-Grade 8 school was deemed “prohibitive to repair” back in 2003 and has had a few updates done over the past decade.

After trustees voted against administration’s recommendation to consolidate Donald Young, Crossroads, and Sturgeon Creek schools back in February, 2014, it agreed to proceed with an investigation into the DYS renovation project.

It ultimately was decided a rebuild of the school’s main classroom wing was in its best interest.

Enge said the new wing will house seven classrooms, a new administration area, library, staff room, bathrooms, a special education room, a resource room, a speech therapy room, a circle room, and a mechanical and electrical room.

The section currently housing the gym and library will remain, with the library reverting back to a classroom.

“The school design is basically the same [as it was],” Enge said. “There are some small revisions but nothing major.

“The biggest scope change is purely schedule,” he reiterated.

“And I’m confident it will be enough to get it within budget.”

Enge said the new tender was put out on Jan. 20 and closes Feb. 18.

“We had a mandatory site visit on Jan. 27 and three contractors were in attendance, so that’s good,” he remarked.

“We’ve got three people interested.”

Once the tender closes, Enge said it will be reviewed internally. Then it will go to the board’s finance committee and then to trustees.

“The contractor submits a schedule with his tender package but what we’re envisioning—and what we’ve relayed to them—is start construction spring/early summer 2016,” Enge noted.

“They can get the building closed in before the snow flies and then finishing up throughout the winter.”

He added the board wants occupancy, or what it calls substantial completion, by June, 2017.

“Once we get to substantial completion, that means we can move in,” Enge explained.

“And so as soon as school lets out in June next year, we can move everything into the new building.

“Once we’re out of the old wing, then [the contractor] will spend the summer demolishing the old wing,” he added, noting there’s also a little bit of renovation to do in the remaining part of the school.

“All that will likely happen next summer, but they do have the option of doing some of that renovation in the remaining section this summer,” Enge said.

He indicated the whole contract would be completed next summer, including some site work such as curbs and landscaping.

“The school will be as it’s going to be for the next little while for the start of the 2017-2018 school year,” Enge said.

Then they’ll develop a site plan to add play structures, “Kiss ’n Ride,” drainage, etc., he added.

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