MILLBURY — Lake Local Schools leaders are cautiously optimistic that the new $36 million elementary school will be completed on time and on budget.
At Wednesday’s meeting, board member Tim Krugh said that the first challenge of building a new school in high inflation — staying on budget — has been accomplished.
“The good news is the bids have been out, we got our bids back, and we’re within budget,” Krugh said.
Now, the main issue is supply chain, he said.
“That gets more into the completion of the project on time,” Krugh said. “I think we’re going to be on budget. That looks solid.”
In a followup interview, Krugh acknowledged the “crisp” timeline for completing the project.
“But all the contractors are all comfortable with it, if they can get the supplies,” he said. “We have the workers, we have the tradespeople and construction workers — if we can get all the products that we need, when we need them, we should be fine.”
In April, the project — and the Lake campus — will transform to the construction phase.
This school year will end early, on May 9, so construction can ramp up.
Lake voters in November 2021 approved a 6-mill levy that includes 2.7 mills for the new school and 3.3 mills to pay off the middle school bond.
The new two-story elementary will be 110,000 square feet and have 53 classrooms, compared to the current 32.
The new school will be a PK-6 building. The existing elementary houses PK-4, with grades 5-7 in the middle school and grades 8-12 in the high school.
The building should open in fall 2024.
Also Wednesday, Krugh gave some background on the turf replacement project, which was approved last month for $419,000.
The turf was first installed in 2010 after the tornado destroyed the high school.
“We were able to negotiate with our insurance company for the construction of our field turf, which was a whole different type of surface,” Krugh said.
The turf was expected to last eight-10 years, but Lake got 13 years of use from it, he said.
“There was concern about the cost of replacing it when the time came, which is here,” Krugh said.
The board in 2010 created a turf and track fund, which has received an annual payment by the boosters, the athletic department and the board of education.
He said 75% of the replacement cost will be covered by the turf and track fund. The work will be done in April.
Also at the meeting, the board:
• Heard from Robinson that interest payments have been $200,000 higher this year.
• Accepted the resignation of Megan D’Clute, eight grade language arts, effective at the end of the 2022-23 school year.
• Approved a transfer in position for Amanda Johnson, from eight grade intervention specialist to high school intervention specialist.
• Approved a payment of $500 per month for the next two years to Treasurer Maria Robinson for doing work on the construction committee. Three other employees are also receiving stipends; Robison was hired last month.
• Accepted a donation of $200 for children’s clothing and supplies from the St. Peter’s Women’s Guild. Donations for the Glider Pack food program were also accepted from Precision Strip, $1,160; the Bushmann family, $425; Freytag Dental, $150; Random Acts, $50; and $25 from Richard and Stephanie Snyder.
• Went into executive session to discuss employee compensation. No action was taken.