Northwest Public Schools will be moving forward with bids for a potential science rooms renovation project at Northwest High School.
At a special meeting Monday night, the Northwest Board of Education voted 5-0, with board member Paul Mader absent, to authorize Wilkins Architecture Design and Planning of Kearney to prepare bid documents for the proposed renovation project and to secure bids for it. The secured bids will be presented to the board for review and any further action.
Advisory board member Becky Rosenlund also voted yes.
At the board’s retreat last month, Jacob Sertich, managing principal/architect with Wilkins ADP, said the projected constructed costs are $495,000, assuming only one phase is done on the project. Additional projected costs were $12,500 for furniture and $45,000 to $50,000 for design/engineering costs. The total projected cost of the project was expected to be $550,000 to $560,000.
Board President Dan Leiser said last week that he and some other board members met with Sertich and felt the $560,000 cost “didn’t stand much chance of moving forward down the road as far as the project.” As a result, he said they asked Sertich to revamp the numbers to only renovate two lab spaces — a biology lab and a chemistry lab — lowering the projected construction cost to $292,000.
Northwest Superintendent Jeff Edwards said Monday night that a U-shaped island in the biology lab would be removed under the proposed renovation project.
At the board retreat last month, Sertich said the island is in the middle of the classroom, has created a bottleneck and keeps the room from functioning efficiently. In the concept plan presented to the board at its retreat, the island would be replaced with a smaller teacher station.
Edwards said a new fume hood would be installed in the chemistry lab, in addition to new seating stations. He added snorkel exhaust arms also will be installed in the chemistry lab. The arms will come down from the ceiling to the student benches in the room.
Leiser said no flooring would be torn out in the biology lab, but it may need torn out in the chemistry lab to run gas or water lines for the two islands there.
“But that is not asbestos flooring, so they should be no asbestos control (needed),” he said. “The new floor will go right over the top of the old floor.”