School board prepares to find design partner for $150 million master plan projects
Stressed importance of limiting effect of construction on learning
The Park City Board of Education is moving closer to a $150 million proposal to fund sweeping facilities improvements, directing staff to begin the process of selecting a design builder.
The board met Tuesday afternoon and heard another presentation from Dave Hart of MOCA, an architecture and design firm the board hired to help guide the process. The board accepted previous guidance from Hart and added 10% to cost estimates for the construction projects, which include new construction and renovations at every district school and the demolition of Treasure Mountain Junior High. Hart advised the board to add 10% to account for unforeseen expenses, and the board agreed. With that, the price tag of a bond would exceed $150 million, should the board decide to fund the entire cost of the work through that method. The board has also indicated it could explore other financing options rather than asking voters to approve the full amount through a bond measure.
The estimate, provided by the brokerage firm Stifel, includes project costs for new construction and renovation at Park City High School, Ecker Hill Middle School and Parley’s Park, McPolin, Jeremy Ranch and Trailside elementary schools. The projects would expand Park City High School to accommodate the ninth grade, Ecker Hill Middle School to fit the eighth grade and build additions to all four elementary schools for pre-kindergarten programs and other services.
As in previous discussions, board members stressed that the disruption to students and staff during the construction work be kept to a minimum. Hart said disruption can be minimized but it can’t be avoided entirely. He said on-site demolition, trucks arriving and leaving and cutting materials will all make noise, which will have to be mitigated. In addition, new routes will have to be designed to move buses and personal vehicles in and out of the schools safely and efficiently, as in several cases new construction will be done on existing parking and through-lanes. Construction crews will also need their own entrance and exit points.
Hart said they will need to consider how best to fence off construction from students, not just outside the schools but inside. As the plans at all sites include adding onto additional structures, there would be areas where school is in session while construction is happening elsewhere inside the building.
The loss of usable space during construction would also necessitate bringing in temporary learning facilities such as trailers or portable classrooms.
Those are all considerations that need to be made as the board moves forward in the process, Hart said.
At the end of the discussion the board advised staff to issue requests for qualifications from prospective design builders. The next step will be to create a short list of builders, then to solicit requests for proposals from each.
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There was a common theme in every address delivered during the Park City High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony Thursday: gratitude.