New high school: BV board approves $27M budget summary

Friday, January 25, 2019

By Kelby Newcomb

The Berryville School Board voted Monday to approve the $26,991,463 program budget summary for the construction and furniture, fixtures and equipment (FFE) for the new high school.

Lewis Architects Engineers, the architect, and Nabholz Construction, the construction manager, presented a video to the board detailing the design plans and visual appearance of the new high school building project.

Jeff Gattis, senior project manager with Nabholz Construction, said the company has been mobilized on the project for a little more than a month, having broken ground on the new high school site in November.

“As you remember, we brought the original proposed construction costs to you in October,” he said, “and had some budget issues at that time. You all tasked us very clearly and adamantly about going back and getting it as close to the original budget as we could without cutting anything else.”

Gattis continued, “This whole team of Steve Elliott and Ryne Pruitt with Lewis Architects Engineers and my team of Jason Vines and Evan Balducci have been working on pricing and drawings and things like that to get to a happy medium. I think what you saw there is a very quality school.”

At the October meeting, the board had learned the total cost of the project would be about $28,508,873, exceeding the district’s original budget of $27,350,000 by $1,158,873.

“I’m happy to present… through a lot of hard work… that we’re within one half of 1 percent of that task,” Gattis said. “What we’re asking today is that the board approve this construction program, which will be the balance of the new high school.”

The board had voted in October to approve the middle school cafeteria contract for $3,086,846 and six bid packages for the high school for a total of $8,222,233: earthwork, steel supply, electric, plumbing, concrete and food services.

“You all approved a few bids on this in October,” Gattis said. “This is the rest of that.”

He said the total price of the program budget summary would be $26,991,463, including the bids approved in October, the $6.3 million construction of the athletic complex and the FFE expenses presented by Dr. Paul Hines, facilities, maintenance and transportation director for the Berryville School District.

Hines told the board the budget for FFE was $1,135,550 for the upcoming building projects.

Board president Chad Hipps asked if the FFE budget would sufficiently cover all the classrooms.

“If the dollars hold true, we feel like we’ve got it covered,” Hines said. “If not, we’ve always got the option of taking old furniture over. We tried to make these projections as close to what we thought the real cost would be.”

Gattis said the architects did not remove any square footage from classrooms, corridors, cafeterias or the performing arts center to bring the costs closer to budget.

“The only thing they changed was the inset for each of your classrooms,” he said, “which allowed them to skinny up the building just a little bit.”

“We also reduced some stairways and the mezzanine to get square footage down a bit,” Pruitt said.

The board later voted to approve the renewal of the legal liability insurance and a revision in the English as a Second Language (ESL) handbook.

Superintendent Owen Powell took a moment to thank the members of the school board for School Board Appreciation Month.

“We all really appreciate our school board,” Powell said. “The people they typically hear from are not going to say a lot of positive things. They get to hear a lot of griping and things like that. It’s pretty much a thankless job.”

He continued, “Everyone of them are on here for the right reasons. It’s truly community service. We really appreciate this school board.”

The board voted to approve the following hires, moves and volunteers: Kami Tresler for a six-hour intermediate cafeteria position, Jeffrey Newberry as a substitute custodian, Brittany Dorsey for a seven-hour cafeteria position, Trish Worley for a six and a half-hour cafeteria position and Danny Kelley as a volunteer softball coach.

The board also voted to accept the following resignations: Donna Vickers effective Jan. 22, Josh Weaver effective Jan. 22, and Amanda Trammell effective at the end of her current contract.

The board also voted to renew Powell’s contract and add a one-year extension.

Before the regular meeting, the board held a special expulsion hearing and voted unanimously to expel the student for one calendar year.

The board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18, in the Intermediate Cafetorium.

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