Bond money used to improve Columbia schools

Thursday, September 16, 2010 | 7:01 p.m. CDT; updated 10:21 p.m. CDT, Thursday, September 16, 2010

COLUMBIA — The new high school will start taking shape next week when the first concrete footings are poured. Meanwhile, some of the district’s existing schools are undergoing improvements.   

Here’s a look at recent and upcoming progress on the new high school in northeast Columbia:

Bond money break-down

The school district has $138 million total in bond money. Here’s a look at how it’s divided.

  • $120 million from April 2010 vote
  • $18 million leftover from 2007 bond elections
  • $75 million for new high school
  • $63 million for other projects
  • $7.5 million for Hickman and Rock Bridge gyms
  • $1.2 million originally estimated for Hickman roof
  • $775,000 actual cost for Hickman roof

View the progress of projects at the school district’s bond tracker web site.


Related Articles
  • Groundbreaking at St. Charles Road, July.
  • Excavation of the 80-acre site, July-September.
  •  Concrete footings poured, starting week of Sept. 19, continuing for three or four months.
  • Sewer, water and electric installed, starting in September.
  • Plans for western arterial roads complete, October.
  • Bid process for road project scheduled to begin, mid-October.
  • Masonry work scheduled to start, November.

“Everything is on schedule, which is great news — we’ve had some beautiful weather,” said Nick Boren, deputy superintendent.

The project was $7.8 million over budget, a previous Missourian article reported. Boren said 22 cost-reduction items have brought the project back within the $75 million budget, a subsequent article reported.

Boren said the bid package for the project identified alternatives for the school to help trim the costs. Value engineering reduced some of the cost, along with deletions to the plans for the school.

Some items that were cut could be added later:

  • A softball field with restroom facilities.
  • Tennis courts.
  • Visitor side grandstand bleachers for the football field.

Hickman, Rock Bridge improvements

Parts of the roof at Hickman High School are being redone, a process that started last week. Doug Mirts, assistant principal at Hickman, said he does not expect the project to disrupt the school’s environment.

Gym additions will be made on Rock Bridge and Hickman high schools. Both are in the design phase, and they are expected to be complete in August 2013 when the new high school opens.

Other improvements

Michelle Baumstark, community relations coordinator, said other schools also are receiving improvements in roofing, technology and air conditioning.

Baumstark said only two schools in the district — Lewis and Paxton Keeley elementary schools — are less than 10 years old. Making modern changes to older schools, such as 100-year-old Grant Elementary School, involves retrofitting the buildings and installing new windows.

“You don’t want to put AC in and have your money go right out the window, literally,” Baumstark said.

Simon Oswald Associates will partner with DLR Group on the HVAC projects, the Columbia School Board decided at its Monday meeting.

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