School facilities' upgrades 98% complete

Nelson updates FMCSD on finalizing projects at both sites


FORT MADISON – Officials from Carl A. Nelson told the Fort Madison School Board Monday, the construction at the new PreK-6th grade and 7th-12th-grade high school are 98% complete.
The district’s contingency fund on the project, which began at $1.56 million, has been reduced to about $65,000.
Chris Smith, President of Carl A. Nelson, went through a breakdown of the contingency and where costs are at on the project.
Smith said there aren’t a lot of people working at the sites now except for those in completing the finishing touches and installation of equipment and furniture.
“I reported a couple months ago that that was a moving target because some of the bids were coming in overbudget and the contingency was being used to cover that. But ,when the bids came in over budget, we established a goal of $600,000 in value engineering on the project and we’ve exceeded that goal by quite a bit,” Smith said.
Value engineering is where the general contractor can find savings in material changes to the project.
He said Nelson was also able to reduce their general conditions' budget by $192,000 which was added to the contingency fund.
Playground equipment at the PreK-6th grade building came in about $15,750 over budget, which also came out of the contingency. Tech bidding came in slightly under budget, but additional furniture ordered by the district of about $345,000 was taken from the contingency fund, as well. Replacing bleachers at the high school gymnasium was also added to the project and that came from the contingency fund, too, at about $308,000. The rest was in overbudget big packages.
Change orders have amounted to close to $180,000 on the project, which is less than 0.2%, which Smith said is a very low number historically.
Project Manager Alan Schrock said, based on billing, the projects are 98% complete. He said there are some final touches, including quality control, and final inspections are still left and then, when the weather dries out, grass seeding will begin.
Parking lots have been completed at the high school.
Schrock said there were about $21,000 in change orders over the past month due to some concrete removal and replacement, some fire suppression additions, and some plaques that will be displayed.
The construction project was scheduled to be finalized prior to the fall start of the 2024-25 school year. Original costs for the work at both schools was estimated at $24 million and was paid for by borrowing against SAVE funds.

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