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School board weighs costs

Profile image for By Britney Tabor
By Britney Tabor

Prices for land grading, repairing hail damage on today’s agenda

The Denton school board will convene for a special meeting today to consider the guaranteed maximum price for grading work on the district’s fourth comprehensive high school and roof repair for facilities damaged by hail in April.

The meeting is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. at the Stephens Central Administration Building, 1307 N. Locust St.

Paul Andress, the district’s operations director, said the board is being asked to approve a guaranteed maximum price for grading work so the district can “get a jump” on starting work for the new high school, which is slated to open in 2016 at the corner of Navo Road and U.S. Highway 380 in the Paloma Creek area.

Andress said the school board will also be asked to consider roof repairs for several schools in the central and east portions of the district that suffered hail damage in an April storm.

The guaranteed maximum price for the entire high school project is expected to be brought to the board for consideration next month.

Today, the board is being asked to approve just over $3.5 million to prepare the grounds for the new high school. If approved, Andress said, grading work would begin in the next three to four weeks.

Construction company Balfour Beatty was hired as the construction manager for all future district construction in June 2013, according to board minutes.

Bond funds from a 2013 package will fund the school’s grading, according to district officials.

The new high school is part of a $312 million bond package approved by voters in November. A designated $149.6 million was earmarked for the school’s construction.

In March, the board authorized the issuance and sale of $156 million in bonds for 2013 projects, according to district officials.

Other projects in the 2013 bond package include a ninth-grade addition at Guyer High School, two elementary schools, a middle school, renovations at 17 campuses, energy conservation improvements and land acquisition.

The district closed on about 66 acres for the new high school site for an undisclosed amount on March 7.

In May, the district entered into an agreement with Spiritas Ranch Enterprises LLP for use and possession of 42.19 acres adjacent to 66 acres purchased in March, said Randy Stout, attorney for the Denton school board.

The only issue left with the 42.19-acre property is how much the district owes, he said. The district’s offer for the property was turned down, and a special commissioners hearing is set for September for eminent domain of the property, Stout said.

Information on the number of schools needing roof repairs was not disclosed Monday.

According to district documents, money collected from insurance of the damaged buildings will be used to support repairs. District documents indicate two bids — one for $1.02 million, another for $1.57 million — have been submitted for the repairs.

Andress said that if the board approves roof repairs today the district hopes to complete the repairs before the school year starts Aug. 25.

The board’s next regular meeting is slated for 6 p.m. July 29.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.