Plans will move ahead as anticipated with the Storm Lake High School renovation and construction of an auditorium, following voters' approval of funding earlier this month.
At Monday's school board meeting, Supt. Dr. Carl Turner asked for input from the board as the time line for the project begins taking place.
One of the first things that will need to be completed is a survey of the high school property. It has been several years since a survey was done.
Supt. Turner said it is essential to survey the entire area since it is not yet certain where the new construction will take place and also in case additional work is done in the future.
The board agreed to hire Civil Design Advantage LLC to complete the survey at a cost of $15,900. This will be paid from SILO funds.
The new architects have spent a great deal of time looking over the plans that I&S gathered ahead of them and are representatives are now meeting with staff members, custodian and tech members at the high school to get ideas for the renovation. They will also be meeting with the auditorium committee, set for tonight depending on the weather.
Additional meetings are expected in January with all of the above having the chance to give more input.
From there, they will go into the schematic design development phase, using the information from the staff and committee members. Public meetings will be held during this phase to introduce designs.
The next phase will be the design refinement and development phase which will determine cost estimates, holding more public meetings and finalizing the building and site plans.
From there, they will move into the contract development phase which will be used for getting bids. The board will review the plans and a public hearing will be necessary.
The next phase will be the bidding and negotiation phase at which time advertising for bids will take place, bid will be asked for and opened, bonds will be sold and construction contracts will be approved.
The final phase will be the actual construction. Start dates and substantial completion are still to be determined.
There was discussion from the board on the time line.
"I don't want them rushing," said board member Marcella Koth. "I want them to take their time. I would like to see things happen this summer but not because we want to have it done."
Board member Peter Steinfeld pointed out that a great deal of work was already been completed and he said he would hate to see all that "go to waste."
Board president Ed McKenna said he does not see a reason why things couldn't get started this summer and board member Erica Dierking said, "I don't want to s a lot of down time. We need to show them we are ready to move forward."
Steinfeld said he has great "confidence" in the architects and that he believes a time line can be developed soon.
Board member Dave Skibsted said it is important to move along "with interest rates the way they are" right now.
It has not been determined at this time which project will take place first but McKenna said, "The public really wants an auditorium so I think we need to make that the first thing we do."
The auditorium committee along with a couple of the board members and Supt. Turner had the opportunity to tour auditoriums at Nevada, Ankeny and Urbandale which DLR designed and were quite impressed with the work that had been done there. At the Nevada facility, which has been on a six-year plan to complete improvements, they were able to see how a school functions with the work going on around them and that was quite impressive and can be done in the district of needed.
Skibsted added, "There is no reason why we would need to be on a six-year plan. We can move ahead."