The new Urbana High School is getting its second floor put together and flooring finished, while the new pre-kindergarten to eighth grade building’s site work is underway.
Urbana City Schools Superintendent Charles Thiel gave the school board a progress update on the construction of the two new school buildings at its Tuesday meeting.
So far, both buildings are on schedule, with a plan to get students into the new high school in March 2018. Students are projected to begin using the new elementary/middle school building in January 2019.
High school work includes masonry, flooring and steel supports for the second floor. In addition to site work, the elementary/middle school building is set to begin pouring foundations in May, according to a letter to residents by Gilbane Building Company officials.
Thiel said good bids received on both buildings have allowed for some savings on the projects. Those savings will be put back into the buildings with alternate options that the district previously thought it could not afford. Thiel said there was an estimated $1.5 million in bid-day savings for the elementary/middle school. Approximately $500,000 of that was approved by the school board to purchase alternate options, which include additional storage cabinets in classrooms and teacher work spaces, LED lights in the building, operable partitions in a couple of locations, grading and seeding the entire site and stabilization of the soil for the driveway and parking lots, Thiel said. Previously, the bid included only grading and seeding the construction area.
The district is continuing the process of seeking a variance from Urbana Township Trustees for the elementary/middle school emergency access road. The township regulations stipulate the drive be “dustless,” while builders were hoping to use gravel for that drive since it will rarely be used, Thiel said.
The next step will be selecting furniture for the two new buildings. Thiel said samples will be brought in for teachers and students to take a look at and air their preferences, and the design team will make final selections in the next couple of weeks.
There will be a groundbreaking at 2 p.m. April 30 at the elementary/middle school site, Thiel and Gilbane officials said.
Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.