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Contractors push to finish USD 411 project by January

Staff writer

During a tour of USD 411’s $2.9 million construction project, contractors told Goessel Board of Education members that they were pushing hard to make sure staff and students can move in by the time classes resume in January.

“Though the board is not angry, they are disappointed the project was not completed sooner,” Superintendent John Fast said. “One highlight is that we’re staying on budget. Nothing was cut from the original project idea, and actually, with the extensive revamping of the high school entrance, we are getting more than we expected. It’s just taken much longer than anticipated.”

Additions include labs for high school science and Family and Consumer Sciences, as well as an agricultural education room, and a storm shelter at the elementary.

Other facility renovations include general brick repair, and the replacement of lackluster doors and windows.

Currently the high school’s east entryway is scheduled to receive steel the beginning of next week. Electrical panels are all up, and lights are installed in two classrooms.

The painters will put up a final coat of paint later this week.

Concrete for sidewalks will go in as soon as the ground dries and interior flooring is scheduled for installation over Christmas.

Fast said the board had looked into the circumstances of the delay and did not believe the reason to be “contractor negligence.”

“We’ve looked at nearby school districts and noted that contractors are swamped,” Fast said. “They have more work than you can shake a stick at.”

The board has not ruled out the idea of “retainage as a penalty [the withholding of a portion of payment originally agreed upon when certain aspects of a work contract are not met to satisfaction]” for the semester long delay, Fast said. The board is keeping its options open with no action decided as of yet.

“We are very pleased with the quality of the work,” he said. “But currently we’re waiting to see if they will finish by January.”

In other business:

  • The board approved the purchase of a photographic electronic timing device at $4,886.25.
  • Board members approved a letter of engagement with Knudsen and Monroe for audit work in 2014-15.
  • Board members also entered into an executive session to discuss Corporation/Trust information, after which no action was taken.

Last modified Dec. 11, 2014

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