Proposed renovation of Alton Central School could cost $26.3 million


October 26, 2011
ALTON — The Alton Buildings and Grounds Committee met on Wednesday, Oct. 19, to discuss the proposed renovation to Alton Central School.

Chip Krause, the architect on the project, was in attendance to answer any questions that the committee and members of the public had about the project.

Prior to discussion on the renovations, Superintendent Kathy Holt introduced Jack Allen as the new director of buildings and grounds.

The renovation has an estimated cost of between $21,085,8045 and $26,266,337.

A range is provided because of two variables.

The proposed addition will add 55,595 square feet, at a cost ranging from $150 to $175 per square foot, and renovation itself will include work on 63,806 square feet at a cost ranging from $100 to $125 per square foot.

The site work on the project is estimated between $1.5 and $2.5 million, and the soft costs (30 percent of construction costs) are estimated between $4,685,955 and $6,061,462.

The soft costs include: architectural and engineering fees (5.5 percent), testing and surveying, moveable equipment (5 percent), asbestos abatement for floor tiles at a cost of $5 per tile, the cost for a building permit and, special inspections, as needed and furniture, chairs and other classroom equipment.

Krause said that the site work includes the complete re-grading off the athletic fields, adding drainage work on the parking lots and other various improvements.

The bottom line numbers include a geothermal heating system, with a cost of $850,000, and the mechanical equipment, with a cost of $1 million, but it doesn't include several other items: Electronic card access, $2,000 per door and $5,000 for a master unit, $16,000; a new elevator for the 1972 wing, $100,000; removal of material, $50,000; solar hot water for a family of four as a teaching tool, $10,000; and water storage for irrigation, $100,000.

There are also a couple of items listed without a price that could be added: a water softener system and exterior heated sidewalks.

Steve Parker questioned how the geothermal heat field would work and Krause explained that while some electricity is used to operate the system, the majority of the energy for heating or cooling is generated from the ground water, which stays at a constant temperature even as outside temperatures go up and down.

State funding

Holt talked about attending a recent legislative meeting where state funding of schools was discussed.

She said that the state wouldn't be approving aid until the 2015 fiscal year, which means it would affect the 2014 budget.

She pointed out that the aid will only be given to schools with life safety issues.

Holt explained that the roof at ACS could be considered a life safety issue, as the roof collapsed a couple years ago and the school is currently restricted on shoveling parts of the roof.

She said that the maximum awarded for aid would be capped at 30 percent.

Sandy Wyatt questioned waiting two years for the possibility of getting building aid.

She re-stated her view that the building aid coming back is purely speculative.

Krause talked about doing the project in phases due to the massive size of the whole project.

The Alton Buildings and Grounds Committee will be holding a public forum on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Alton Central School in the music room.

A DVD copy of this meeting is available at the Gilman Library.

Tim Croes can be reached at tcroes@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

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