$24.6K change order for L-D bathroom project draws  board discussion

A bathroom project at Lead-Deadwood Elementary School, the precursor to the final phase of a multi-year renovation in the district drew discussion at the most recent school board meeting, due to a significant change order, as well as the project being weeks behind schedule. Pioneer photo by Jaci Conrad Pearson

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LEAD — A $24,571 change order on the Lead-Deadwood Elementary bathroom project from SECO Construction had the Board of Education scratching their heads and sharpening their pencils on the project Tuesday.

“When they got down there and started tearing that floor out, instead of the four-inch concrete slab that they thought they had, it was 12 inches to 18 inches thick with double rebar running through it,” said Lead-Deadwood School District Maintenance and Transportation Supervisor Bill Snow. “So it took them a lot longer to tear that floor out than they initially thought it was going to.”

On top of that, the project is running three weeks behind.

“They think that they can make that time up, though, once they start getting sheetrock walls up,” Snow said.

School Board member Amber Vogt asked how much is in the contingency and if the delay will put the project over its projected cost.

“This is a pretty good change in what our overall budget was. We’re not even halfway through that process, so that is a concern.” Vogt said. “I’m sorry, but they should have known the difference between a four-inch and a 12-inch slab, even getting in there. We just need to keep that in mind as we move forward. It’s a big change to be this early.”

The Board of Education awarded work for phase 3A, the first segment of the final phase of the Lead-Deadwood School District facilities update, a second-floor elementary bathroom remodel project, in the amount of $205,600 to SECO Construction, Inc. of Rapid City in March.

Snow said ICS Construction officials managing the project said the delay would not put the district over with what is in the contingency.

Lead-Deadwood Business Manager Margie Rantapaa estimated the contingency to be $25,000 to $30,000.

School Board Member Tim Madsen asked what the plan is if the project isn’t finished before school starts.

“We will get done before school starts,” Snow said. “At some point, I’m just going to tell them they’re going to have to start working weekends and bring more guys in.”

Lead-Deadwood School District Superintendent Dr. Erik Person said he and Snow will meet with project managers this week to communicate expectations.

“If we’re going to have increased change orders, I’d like to see a detail of what that’s going to do to the overall budget moving forward with this change order,” Vogt said.

At a cost of $4.1 million, Phase 3 of the Lead-Deadwood School District’s facilities update will be done over the course of two summers, with the first of the two final phases in the initiative ramping up in May.

Phase 3A work began with a second-floor bathroom remodel project this summer. The Lead-Deadwood Elementary School kitchen and cafeteria will then be remodeled in 2022, as part of Phase 3B of the district’s facility update.

The bathroom remodel project is slated to be completed by Aug. 24. The kitchen remodel is slated to be completed by Aug. 23, 2022, and the cafeteria remodel is slated to be complete by Dec. 31, 2022.

In November 2020, the Board of Education adopted a resolution to finance $3.1 million of the $4.1 million Phase 3 facilities update with capital outlay certificates at an interest rate of 1.44%.

The $3.1 million was recently distributed to the district and the first payment of $335,833 is due Aug. 21.

Phase one work involved installation of a high school elevator, tuckpointing at the high school and elementary schools, and two retaining walls at the elementary school at a cost of $1.3 million.

Phase 2A work consisted of renovating third and fourth floor classrooms and bathrooms, as well as the installation of a rooftop air conditioning unit and making the auditorium handicap accessible at a cost of $3.4 million.

Phase 2B entailed renovating the second floor and moving the school offices from second floor at the top of the stairs to the building, to the first floor, just off the lunchroom, at street level, at a cost of $2.1 million.

More on Mountain Top

In other business, the board approved a Mountain Top field divider wall and slab in the amount of $41,720

“There’s about a four-foot chain link fence that runs from the gate now, across, separating the track from the concession stand area. We’re looking at taking that out and pouring a short cement wall that goes across there as a divider, to make it a little bit more presentable and then pouring that slab to set that monument rock, the bench, and the plaque on up there, just to keep all that stuff in one area,” Snow said.

Superintendent Dr. Erik Person said a proposal letter from Tallgrass Architecture describes how they will handle site analysis, design development phase, construction documents and bidding as the Mountain Top field renovation project progresses.

“Basically lets us know what their services are going to include and how they’re going to get from a to b,” Person said.

“I would recommend that we move forward with the $13,680 for them to keep updating on the field,” Snow said.

Lead-Deadwood School District Business Manager Margie Rantapaa said there is $100,000 budgeted for fiscal year 2022 for Mountain Top renovations. 

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