Firm chosen to design improvements, manage $39.9 million initiative
The Grafton School District moved one step closer to commencing its $39.9 million facilities project Monday when the School Board awarded contracts for design and construction management services to Hoffman Planning, Design and Construction, Inc.
According to Supt. Jeff Nelson, the estimated cost will be $1.9 million for design and $720,000 for construction management.
The value of Hoffman’s contract with the district is based on a 5.6% design fee and a 2% construction management fee.
Beginning Saturday, ceiling tiles will be removed from areas of Grafton High School and Kennedy and Woodview elementary schools that will be renovated so designers can begin mapping 3-D renderings of the schools to help them plan the areas properly.
According to Nelson, the district is working to keep school families and the general public informed about the projects via email and the district’s website to avoid confusion during the construction.
“This is where our communication plan will be critical for families. We didn’t want kids to walk in on Monday and be like, ‘What’s going on? There’s no ceiling tiles,’” Nelson said. “This will be one of the first updates that we put out, so that parents and community members will know why it’s happening.”
The district has prepared a general schedule for the construction dates but Nelson is ready to notify families if any sudden issues arise.
“There may be times, especially during the early stages, when things happen unexpectedly where they need a quicker answer for various things that aren’t on the schedule,” he said.
The district is also organizing site teams consisting of the three elementary school principals and nine teachers that will tour other local schools that have recently been remodeled to gather ideas that can be used to optimize Grafton’s plan.
“The site teams will address anything that would be happening currently with all the different additions that we’re making, even with the hallways and how they are being designed for more natural light to come in and to save on energy costs,” Nelson said. “You don’t necessarily have to have your lights on to create a great learning environment.”
Nelson also said the site teams will be looking at Grafton’s schools to find areas with potential opportunity for future expansion as well as learning spaces for different classes to work together.
“As we look forward to the next 10 to 20 years, we expect kids to be collaborating more and to be working in smaller groups,” Nelson said. “We want to design these classrooms to have collaboration workspaces to benefit future educational experiences and opportunities.”
The district plans to begin construction for its facilities in September and it expects to be completed before the start of the 2018-19 school year.
The funding for the construction comes from a referendum that was passed in April after a $47.7 million referendum and $1.8 million plan to upgrade outdoor athletic and recreation facilities failed to pass last spring.