It’s so far so good for the Kodiak High School renovation project. At least that’s the word from the construction manager Bruce Walter of Wilson Engineering. Walter provided an update to the borough assembly during its work session on Thursday, and said the project is about 30 percent complete.
“We’ve contractually been into the contract 10 months and construction nine months, which puts us at 30 percent of a 32 month project. Completion for the project is still scheduled for November 2015 and to date we’ve issued no change orders extending that deadline.”
In terms of finances, Walter said they are doing fairly well with the $62 million construction budget, and have only tapped into a small amount of the project’s $2.5 million contingency budget.
“To date we have awarded $152,000 in change orders, which represents .24 of the contract sum or 5.8 percent of our construction contingency. So contrary to what’s going around out there on the street, I think our budget and our contingency are doing quite well.”
Walter said there are nine phases of the project, and five of those phases are currently underway. He said there have been a few hiccups along the way, including moisture issues with the basement locker room and the discovery that the entire gym floor had to be replaced, both of which prolonged completion dates. The gym has since been finished and use of the downstairs locker room was turned over to the high school today.
Perhaps the most visible progress for the project is the four-story classroom tower. Construction on that has been moving along since early fall, but Walter said it is actually progressing slower than he would like.
“I’ve noticed the contractor’s schedule for the last month or so continues to indicate that the tower is going to be two to three weeks behind schedule. And with occupancy of that tower being critical to programming staff and students, it presents a risk.”
Ideally, Walter said contractors aim to have a project of this type completed a few weeks before the deadline to allow the owner a comfortable amount of time to move in to the space.
“Right now we’re not seeing that. And it’s not a big delay, but with just a two week delay, it would seriously hinder the operation of the school if it didn’t take place. So what we’re doing is right now we’re keeping an eye on it. Myself and the staff in the management office, we’re not overly concerned right now. It’s still a little early. So we’re giving the contractor the opportunity to better his schedule. He’s going to provide more man power, he’s going to try and better the deliver dates for his materials, his long lead items, and we’re going to regroup and look at his schedule again on March 12. On March 12 the contractor has agreed to be able to come to us with a schedule and confidence that he’s going to be able to turn over the tower when he’s supposed to on August 1.”
If the contractor indicates that he won’t be able to do that, Walter said they have developed a plan B, which won’t affect the school in any way, but will impact the contractor. He didn’t go into the details of the plan during Thursday’s work session, but said he would revisit the assembly after March 12 to shed light on where things stand.