Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Liverpool High School Phase 3 Capital Construction Update:  As I indicated previously, this summer has been very busy – with capital construction renovation work being done at several elementary buildings (primarily roof replacement work), blacktop replacement work at the Transportation Center and some initial preliminary (asbestos removal) work being performed at the Liverpool High School building.

So, where are we at with respect to the Phase 3 Capital Project . . . as you may remember, the Phase 3 Project consisted of several components: The Transportation Center renovations (including fuel tank replacements), the Liverpool High School Pool Deck repairs, the Wetzel Road Elementary School Roof replacement, and the major renovations occurring at the Liverpool High School Auditorium, Gymnasium, New Front Entrance, and Boiler Replacement/Chiller Installation.

At this point, the work at the Transportation Center is complete; the roof at Wetzel Elementary has been substantially completed; the pool deck at the high school has been finished.  At the high school, we have encountered several scheduling snags which have resulted in other issues including a bidding/budgeting problem.

This is an up-to-date list of issues followed by possible solutions or resolutions:

On Tuesday, August 7th, the District opened up bids for each of the various portions of the project (including general contractor, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, theatrical, sitework, etc.) for the auditorium, gymnasium, new entrance work, and the boilers.  After a significant review of the low bids, it was the determination of the school district and the Board of Education to reject all bids (given the significant amount the bids were over budget) – at the September 10th Board Meeting.  As such, we have re-reviewed each of the separate components of the Phase 3 Project and have decided to evaluate the necessary items, exclude the non-essential portions, and scale back the new entrance (including the administrative office, guidance offices and other areas included within the new entrance).

It will be necessary to also increase the overall construction budget for the project by about 10% (increase from $30 million to about $33 million) . . . at no additional cost to the community.  We will be asking the community (through a possible vote later this year) to utilize a small portion of the District’s Capital Reserve to cover the local share of the project.  Some of the increase in project cost appears to be attributable to the sheer complexity of the project, a poor time of the year to conduct the bidding process, added SED scope requirements, too many alternates included in the design, an escalation in the cost of steel, and the limited availability of labor, locally.  Once the Board of Education has decided upon a direction for the adjustments in the Phase 3 Capital Project – I will share the details, especially regarding any shift in schedule, timeline, scope, budget, or other pertinent issues associated with the high school project.

At this point, you may (or may not) know – we are utilizing the Wetzel Road Building for several of our high school courses -- previously housed in the 900 Wing (Fine Arts Area) of the high school . . . including Band, Chorus, Orchestra, some Art and FACS classes.  These were moved earlier due to the asbestos removal done over the summer in preparation for Phase 3 construction.  Additionally, with the asbestos abatement completed at the auditorium – we will also be discussing the status of the auditorium – to determine its availability for use during the interim time period.

I am confident that we have created a viable option that serves as a solution for meeting the facility, educational, safety & security needs of the students, staff and community for the Phase 3 Project.

Thank you and I will continue to provide updates as decisions are made.

Dr. Mark F. Potter, Superintendent of Schools