Construction fences and equipment have been seen at the four USD 234 schools in Fort Scott for several weeks and soon progress will become more visible according to a report given during the April board of education meeting held Monday night.
Steve Bennett of Nabholz gave that update, addressing topics and concerns such as safety, quality, time and cost of the projects.
“We have run into some problems with your project,” Bennett admitted, saying groundwork turned up different obstructions underground at the sites such as an old cistern and foundation, coal, poor soil and trouble caused by a broken and obstructed pipe.
The work at the high school is also about a month behind schedule because the contractors have struggled to match the precast concrete to the current colors. But instead of having to push back the time of completion, Bennett said they changed their initial plan of starting with the high school, and instead began at the other schools, which are all on schedule.
“Time-wise, we’re doing really well,” Bennett said, saying the precasting should be done by the end of April or beginning of May, with structures going up soon after those concrete molds are in place.
Some of the problems crews have come across were budgeted for, but Bennett said some are eating into the contingencies. Despite that fact, Bennett said nothing has been lost from the project to keep it within budget.
Bennett said, despite looking for ways to make sure they do not surpass the set budget or the schedule, the team will not sacrifice in quality, always verifying purchased items, checking for the correct densities of grading as well as taking time to find all existing underground lines and recording them for the school for future work.
Bennett said the buildings will be ready before the start of the new school year in August, although some small projects could remain to be completed by the crews overnight. Until the end of the current school year, Bennett said the contractors have already scheduled much of their work, such as interior projects, to be done at night or over the weekends.
Over the past weekend, the workers succeeded in turning off utilities at the school to relocate power lines to underground lines.
The team also prioritizes safety at the job sites, using fences and signs as well as enforcing safety orientation, planning and emergency exits from the schools.