Monticello’s school construction project continues to run ahead of its original schedule. Construction Manager Chris Uhlarik told the school board Nov. 18 that, except for punch list items, the $35 million effort could be complete six months earlier than the original August deadline.
“This project’s going to be done by February, with basically finishing odds and ends, which will then take one or two months,” said Uhlarik. “Things are going really fast.”
He added that current work can proceed “full-steam ahead” whether students are in the school or not, which is helping move things along.
Construction crews are now focused on the media center, which is being modernized, as well as windows having been added to make it more of a destination point for student study and collaboration.
“The media center is going to be another crown jewel, next to that auditorium, so we’re really excited about that,” added High School Principal Adam Clapp.
“Everything that is left to do is in the high school,” said School Superintendent Vic Zimmerman. The project also included the addition of a classroom wing and renovations at the adjacent Washington Elementary School.
Also ongoing is the renovation of the original 1921 building. A major rehab of locker rooms before Moore Gym is underway, as well as a redo of the former high school administrative wing.
There have been relatively few high-cost surprises, even when workers began tearing out walls in the older sections of the school. The project still has about $825,000 left in contingency funds, of which the school district will recoup 75 percent of what is not used. A total of $1.5 million in contingencies was included in the project’s budget.
An additional $273,000 in contractor “allowances” also remains.
Change orders approved
School board members approved Change Order #16 at the Nov. 18 session. It added about $2,400 to the project cost, mostly due to floor changes that will blend the 1921 section with the new science classroom and laboratory wing. The change also adds more power outlets to the Arthur ‘Buz’ Sievers Center gymnasium lobby.
Change orders have added about $9,000 total to the cost of the project, but overall it still remains about $1 million under budget.