Butler, Bellville school designs will be unveiled April 20

BELLVILLE — Designs for two new elementary school buildings in the Clear Fork Valley Schools district will be presented at the April 20 meeting of the school board.

The board will also be considering information recently made available about costs of improving the Hines Street building. That building now houses kindergarten and pre-school students, as well as school district administrative offices and a cafeteria for Bellville elementary children.

School superintendent Janice Wyckoff, in a press release, said a “financial operations study” compared costs of improving the Hines Street building versus making changes to an annex building. At issue is the location of the administrative offices. If those were to be added to the new Bellville elementary building, it would cost $500,000 for 2,000 square feet of space. Wyckoff said “this did not appear to be the best use of district money” so that option was not explored beyond finding approximate cost.

The district offices could be moved to the top floor of the annex building “with little or no internal renovations. There would be an “approximate expenditure of $45,000 for a roof, some cost for air conditioning and some cosmetic updates” to the annex building.

It was revealed at an April 4 meeting the Hines Street building will be torn down.

The history of the project to design and build two new elementary buildings — in Butler and Bellville — is that the district in March 2016 approved renewal of a one per cent earned income tax for a period of 20 years. Garmann and Miller Architects and Engineers were hired as designers for the project. The Gilbane Company working with Adena Cooperation were hired as the construction manager at risk.

To get to this point, where designs will be revealed , it has taken months of doing “soil borings, getting zoning permits, handling abatement plans, doing hydro logic/hydraulic analysis, discussing streets, radon testing, electrical rebates, and various other items,” Wyckoff said.

The new buildings are on track to begin site preparation in mid to late July, Wyckoff said. Package bidding should happen in May. Ground breaking will occur in August once school resumes. The plan is to move into the new buildings during December 2019.