By Dan Hust
LAKE HUNTINGTON June 15, 2001 Sullivan West Central School District officials have set the date for breaking ground on the new high school site in Lake Huntington: this Saturday, June 16, at 11 a.m.
According to Superintendent Michael Johndrow, virtually every taxpayer in the 200-square-mile district has received or will receive an invitation to the ceremonies, which will be conducted at the site off Route 52. (For directions, call the district at 482-4610.)
One of the key reasons that the school can hold the groundbreaking ceremonies on Saturday is the fact that a bid was awarded several weeks ago for the site work.
Leeward Construction of Honesdale, Pa. is now responsible for excavating, clearing and partially landscaping the 68-acre property in preparation of the 133,000-square-foot high schools construction.
Their bid, which was the lowest of several, came in at $4,158,035, and work will begin in earnest after the groundbreaking.
As for the ten other bid projects (i.e., building construction, electrical wiring, etc.), companies have already made bids on them, but they came in a little high, said Johndrow.
The entire high school building and current facility renovations project was approved last year by voters at a cost of $49.9 million. The high school construction portion of the project is just shy of $30 million, and the district is bound by law not to exceed that amount.
According to Johndrow, the bids did exceed that amount, so the school board has asked the projects construction management firm, Turner Construction Company, to review the bids and suggest how to reduce extra expenses.
However, that does not mean the project is being reduced in scope, said Johndrow.
We are not changing the footprint [square footage] of the school, he explained.
He likened it to someone being in the market for a Cadillac or Mercedes-Benz but finding that such a vehicle is out of their price range.
Maybe we need to get it down to a Chevy or an Oldsmobile, he said.
Thus, said Johndrow, perhaps clerestory windows in the gym would be replaced by a normal roof, or excess windows would become regular walls, or six types of brick in the buildings facade would be reduced to two types.
Our company [Turner] seemed confident they could do it, he said.
Johndrow added that he hopes to see bids awarded at the June 21 board meeting, but if they still come in high, they may be rebid.