Schools knock out $30 million this summer in voter-approved bond projects | VailDaily.com

Schools knock out $30 million this summer in voter-approved bond projects

School district officials broke ground May 25 on $31.2 million in improvements to Eagle Valley High School. The school district completed almost $20 million worth of construction and renovation projects this summer.

EAGLE — It's possible that the Vail Valley has not seen a construction flurry like this since Vail was built in the summer of 1962.

The school district completed almost $20 million worth of construction and renovation projects this summer. Another $10 million was spent for site preparations and foundation work for projects that won't be complete until next summer and the summer after, said Jeff Chamberlain, with RLH Engineering, construction projects manager for Eagle County Schools' $144 million ($233 million with interest) worth of voter-approved renovation and remodel projects up and down the valley.

"We'd like to say again how grateful we are to the voters of Eagle County for supporting this and making it possible," said Kate Cocchiarella, school board president.

On budget, on time

Chamberlain's phone rings constantly with well-intentioned people consistently asking two questions:

1. Are we going to make it?

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2. Are we over or under budget?

The answers are equally consistent, Chamberlain said.

"We're never ahead or behind, and we're always on budget," he said. "You cannot be over, because there's no more money. The bonds are sold. You cannot be under, because that means you left out a program."

So far this summer, they've completed:

• 10 renovation projects.

• Nine parking lots resurfaced.

• Four carpet and flooring projects.

• Three new furnishings projects.

• Two asbestos-abatement projects.

"And we got them all done on time," Chamberlain said.

There was never a time that they thought they would not make their deadlines, but there were some anxious moments, Chamberlain said.

At Edwards Elementary Scool, they pulled a rabbit out of their hard hats and got some temporary furniture so everyone would have a place to sit when school started.

Workers were there to greet Edwards Elementary's students as they walked through the door to start school.

"It wasn't a concern that we wouldn't make it. It's what you look like at the finish line," Chamberlain said.

Energy efficiency, Vail parking structure

Along with all of the construction and renovation, the school board Wednesday approved an agreement with Vail to build a parking structure at Red Sandstone Elementary School and $3.4 million for energy efficiency improvements, Chamberlain said.

Both are part of the voter-approved bond projects.

The first phase of the energy-efficiency improvements will replace 10,000 light fixtures with new LED light fixtures and lighting controls. That will save $150,000 a year in electrical utilities by reducing the school district's electrical lighting consumption by 50 percent. Holy Cross Energy, the utility company, will rebate the district $280,000, Chamberlain said.

The energy upgrades will begin mid-September and be completed by Dec. 31. Workers will be in the buildings after hours to get it done, Chamberlain said.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

Completed this summer

Gypsum Creek Middle School: $1.8 million. Heath classroom, gym renovation, a maker space and parking lot improvements.

Gypsum Elementary: $2.5 million. Secure vestibule, upgrades throughout.

Red Hill Elementary School: $1.6 million. Two-classroom preschool expansion, secure entry vestibule, parking lot improvements.

Brush Creek Elementary School: $1.04 million. Parking lot and entry vestibule.

Battle Mountain High School: $847,243. New science classroom, renovate a storage area into a classroom, create a career counseling area, parking lot improvements.

Berry Creek Middle School: $2.7 million. Secure entry vestibule, parking lot improvements, all new flooring, new furniture, new partition wall in the auditorium.

June Creek Elementary School: $412,225. Parking lot improvements.

Edwards Elementary: $2.4 million. Secure vestibule, flooring, furniture, mechanical upgrades

Red Canyon High School East: $1 million. 2,500-square-foot academic addition, parking lot expansion.

Homestake Peak School: $3 million. Science classroom renovation, new counseling office, art room renovation, building exterior repair, parking lot improvements.

Avon Elementary School: $1.8 million. Secure entry vestibule, parking lot improvements, new furniture.

Districtwide: Mechanical system upgrades to every building. Security upgrades to the entrances of every school in the district, making it possible to control who comes and goes.

$19,099,468: Total spent on projects finished this summer:

Ongoing

Red Canyon High School West: $4 million

Eagle Valley Elementary School: Completion summer 2018: $23.1 million

Eagle Valley Middle School: Completion summer 2018: $25.7 million

Eagle Valley High School: Completion summer 2018: $31.2 million

Red Sandstone Elementary: Completion 2019: $12.7 million

Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy: Completion 2019: $2.4 million

Total bond

$144 million: Bond debt

$233 million: Total with principal and interest