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School board reviews new middle school construction plans

In an effort to cut down on cost over runs during the construction of its new middle school, the Sunnyside School Board met last Saturday to review the engineer's plans and projected construction costs.

Sunnyside School District officials said the June 18 special school board meeting gave the school directors an opportunity to review the building plans and costs for the Sierra Vista Middle School, scheduled to be built during the coming year.

The School Board is expected to award bids for the $11 million project in mid-July, said Dave Plesha, the district finance director.

Plesha said the district recently hired Olympic Associates to review the building plans as prepared by Loofburrow and Architects of Yakima.

Plesha said the report, known as a constructability report, seeks explanation for and to clarify bids being sought for the construction of the new school.

Plesha said by conducting a constructability review of the engineer's plans, the district hopes to avoid expensive cost over runs due to an excess of change orders, based on overlooked items in the engineer's designs.

"In the past, the district has factored in an extra 3 percent to cover the cost of possible cost over runs," he explained.

Under a new state law, school districts must conduct a pre- construction review of all engineering plans, Plesha explained.

Plesha said with the School Board's acceptance of the constructability review, the district can proceed with submission of the building plans to the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Once approved, the district can expect to proceed with its plan to begin construction later this summer.

The new school, to be built on Sunnyside's Washout Road, is expected to be completed by the beginning of the 2006-07 school year.

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