Source: CVDaily Feed

After moving tons of dirt and preparing the land for a new high school in Millville, the Cache County School District is now ready to start the building process after construction bids and site plans have been submitted and finalized.

But even though the site plans have been approved, the district is still fine tuning the project.

“Our main contractor, Darrel Anderson, still today…is going through that with a fine tooth comb, trying to do some value engineering,” says Mike Liechty, Deputy Superintendent for the Cache County School District.

The fine tuning is partially due to the fact that construction bids have been coming in higher than anticipated and it started with the Lewiston Elementary School rebuild.

“We immediately saw there an 8% increase above from what we anticipated,” Liechty explains. “Construction costs, labor is up, but the big things going up are steel, masonry, electrical and sheet rock. Those have taken a significant jump in cost which wasn’t really anticipated.”

But the district has been making adjustments to their expectations on the projects to plan for the increases.

“Once we saw Lewiston come in with about an 8% increase, we were able to come in and start adjusting with an anticipated 8% increase. We took our other projects and bumped them up 8% to stay on budgets.”

For the new high school in Millville, the district has been negotiating with Nibley City and the Utah Department of Transportation to build a new bridge across the Blacksmith Fork River and connect it to 2600 South. UDOT is planning on installing a traffic light at the intersection to help with safety.

“We have an agreement with Nibley City and the school district on that light and we’re working a lot with UDOT getting that signal in there,” he continues. “UDOT has been a great partner. What we want to do is to get that light in before school starts in August 2016.”

It is anticipated that the beginning student body will be approximately 1200 students but the school will have a beginning capacity of 1500 students. Liechty says the new high school will be engineered to handle even more than that.

“The core of the building is to handle 2000 students and is designed to add on. As time goes on,” he says, “we won’t build any new high schools, we’ll just add classrooms but that school will have the capacity to handle that many kids. The hallways, the classrooms, the gyms, the auditoriums, the cafeterias, all have the capacity to handle that many kids. We’re trying to look 20 years out on this thing.”

As far as what the new high school will be called, Liechty says that is still about a year away.

“A year before they open we’ll name a principal for that school. One of the responsibilities the principal will have will be to get together with the community, with the patrons and the students,” explains Liechty. “They’ll talk about those things and bring recommendations to the school board: the name of the school, the colors, the mascot, who are they.

“They get to decide that and come up with recommendations as the patrons who will be attending that school. The board will consider their recommendations then approve.”