School project 'full-speed ahead'

Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013 5:56 PM

The $6 million upgrade and expansion of the Dolores School campus is moving forward again after adjustments were made to satisfy floodplain requirements.

Ground breaking for the project is expected to begin Jan. 1, 2014, the beginning of an 11-month construction schedule.

"We're full-speed ahead, on budget and there are no more surprises," said superintendent Scott Cooper. "All the plans and schedules are on the school website and displays of the project are set up at the schools."

Demolition of the Vo-Ag and science buildings will begin in January to make way for a new science department and career technical education center, said Jim Ketter, project owner representative.

"We lined up everything to be more efficient with less down time between phases," he said. "The project is in a really good place right now; it is tracking really well."

Cooper said some people have been asking why not start demolition now, but waiting makes more sense because it lines up construction phases back to back and reduces expensive down time.

"It is a lower price if we condense it all together, and there will be no stop and restart later," he said. "Once we mobilize on-site, it will begin a continuous construction period up until December 2014."

The new science and technical trade departments are within the floodplain identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The science building had to be raised 3 feet above grade to accommodate for flood dangers, said Burke Martin of the Blythe Group + co.

"Stairs and ramps had to be designed to provide access to the raised building, rather than bringing in a lot of fill dirt," he said.

The locker room remodel is expected to be completed by June, 2014. The elementary upgrade and expansion is scheduled for completion by August in time for the school year.

"We will be keeping a close eye on that, because we want to use that new space at the beginning of next school year," Cooper said.

Building the new career technical center and science department on the east side of campus will take longer, and are scheduled for completion in December, 2014.

Classes will continue during construction. Some classes were relocated, areas of campus will be closed off, and there will be lots of orange fencing, officials said.

The general contractor for the project is FCI Constructors. Bidding for subcontractors will be on-going, and is expected to start soon.

Information, plans, financial documents and drawings are available at and clicking on the construction tab.