ProjectLEAF Quick Update

Hello Friends of District 228!
Many of you have been involved in a variety of levels with the ProjectLEAF initiative, perhaps even back to early 2013 with the campaign for the county sales tax.

But I wanted to take a moment to try to catch you up on what’s transpired over the past several months, since we are now just past the one year anniversary of the April 2015 final referendum passing.
1.  We have accepted bids to begin work at Millikin School and will be constructing a 21st century learning space addition that will be a place where a variety of projects can engage students.  There can be science curriculum, art, even drama can be taught in this space.  We will also be remodeling the library space, creating some new student and staff meeting spaces, as well as updating floors, lights and the entryway to the building.  This project will begin this summer and all work will be completed by the opening of the 2017-18 school year.
2.¬† We will be accepting bids for the Northside School project soon and bids are due on May 18th.¬† We had a very well attended pre-bid meeting there this morning. We will be constructing a new addition at Northside, which will include a new kitchen and cafeteria, a similar 21st century learning space, new art room and new music room.¬† We will also be doing some significant renovation to the rest of the building, and even hope to construct a small parking lot at the southwest corner of the property.¬† New playground equipment is also part of those plans.¬† This project will begin this summer and follow a timeline similar to Millikin’s.
3.  There is no work at Southwest or the Middle School this summer or next school year.  Planning and design work will begin at those sites next fall.
4.  The project that seems to be carrying the most concern is at Geneseo High School.  We put together bid documents for what we hoped was approximately $19.5M worth of work.  Included was a new stadium, new 850 seat concert hall, a new 300+ seat theater, new library, 2D and 3D art rooms, a new Maker Space (more of an adult 21st century learning space mentioned for the grade schools), renovated offices and more secure vestibule entryway.  We also had planned originally to renovate the HS kitchen and dining areas.
Unfortunately our first set of bids came in roughly $3M over our budget, so the District had to decide if we would reduce the scope of work, the quality of work, or some combination of both.
When we started looking at our options, the low general contractor bidder on the HS project also happens to work in construction management.  So the architectural firm who we partnered with on the design and specifications, began conversations with this contractor to see if there was any possible way to look at the bid and try to negotiate down to an agreeable figure.  This was not possible based upon our initial bid as we had too high a percentage of difference between the bid and the budget.
At that point we were approached by this general contractor/construction management about contracting with them to serve in an advisory/liaison role with our architect to assist in reducing the scope of our HS project.  This process has gone well and the District believes we are in a position to publish some prime bid documents to move the HS project forward yet this summer.
To be clear though, there are some reductions in scope and some of the amenities that were in the original bid package.  Here is a quick rundown of what we are putting in our base bid:
Stadium with 8 lane track, field turf
Concert hall with roughly 850 seats
Theater with roughly 320 seats
1 new band practice room (not two as there is the dedicated concert hall stage)
1 new choir practice room
New Library
New 2D and 3D art rooms
New “Maker Space” room
New secure entryway into HS
Remodel north-south hallway corridors (new floors, lights, lockers)
We also have a few items that we will put out as alternate bids.  Here are the major pieces:
New parking lot to the west of State St across from the HS
East-West hallway corridor renovations

Please note that while there may be some demolition this summer of 2016, nothing will be finished this summer.  So no new football stadium or concert hall, etc until 2017.
We know that you join us in remaining excited about the future of this construction and we appreciate your patience as we try to coordinate the largest construction project in the history of the school district.
Please feel free to share this information, and do not hesitate to contact me should you have further questions.¬† Thank you–Scott Kuffel, Superintendent

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