South Elementary renovation plans are slowly coming together

By David Coy on February 22 at 9:19am

Plans to renovate one of Jacksonville’s elementary schools is slowly becoming a reality. The Jacksonville Board Of Education met last night to discuss various items. One of which was the upcoming renovations to South Elementary school. Jacksonville Superintendent Steve Ptacek says it will cost about $6.6 million.

“I advised the board that I would like to have a 5% contingency and no allowances in the project. I would like for us to mentally just to pop that up to 10% contingency and maybe $100,000 in allowances and that puts it back in the $6.95 million to $7 million price tag. Now we’re hoping we hit the 6.5 and not use any or hardly any of the contingency cause we were only at 3% contingency on the JMS project. If we could stay around that number, we’ll stay around 6.6. or 6.7 and the whole time we’ve been putting $7 million as a price tag. So if we could save about $300,000 on this project, it would be a good deal.” Ptacek explained.

Among the price tag, the board voted on and approved to clean out asbestos in both phases of the the South Elementary project, the combined expense is expected to cost about 275-thousand dollars. While the potential budget was being presented, items like pluming and the heating and cooling system came under budget. Ptacek breaks down some some other price tags.

“We had some discussion with the board members looking at the things individually and you can’t do that. When you look at the line items together and it was under the total bid was. Some positives were yes the HVAC system came under but the asbestos bid came much higher and and the electrical bid came much higher than predicted. You have to look at the totality of the entire bid that, a couple of thousand dollars than what we had established in the budget.“ said Ptacek.

Phase one of construction on South Elementary is set to begin the last week of March. It will start on the north side of the building. That would include a number of classrooms and the cafeteria. Ptacek says teachers and students are expected to see the exposed ceiling.

“We will start doing some prep work, there’s major work that will be done, part of the school we will have asbestos come in and do an asbestos abatement over spring break. So we have to start preparing some of the area prior to spring break. When the kids come back after spring break, those areas who have been abatemented, it will have an industrial look. They might not have any ceiling panels in but that’s part of the excitement of the transformation is getting the feeling that it will actually started and people will really see that after spring break. Because exterior site work by the village of South Jacksonville will start on the outside and I think during spring break, we will start on some of the framing on the extension on the south side of the building, which includes a second set of bathrooms, which is drastically needed in south and some extra classrooms.” said Ptacek.

The schools district will hold a pre-construction meeting next Wednesday, February 28th. Other construction, such as parking lots, underground utilities and building add-ons will get going around April 2nd and will run through August 1st.