The Council Bluffs Community School District Board of Education approved plans Tuesday for the second phase of renovations to the career and technical areas at Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson High Schools to prepare for the launch of the TradeWorks Academy.
The work, estimated at just over $1.2 million by HGM Associates, will be paid for with a donation from the Behrouz and Christiane Rassekh Foundation, revenue the school district receives from its physical plant and equipment levy and money from the district’s Capital Fund, which includes revenue from the Secure an Advanced Vision for Education one-cent sales tax, according to Diane Ostrowski, chief communications officer for the school district.
The project will add automotive, electrical, HVAC and welding capabilities to both high schools, said Staci Pettit, director of facilities, maintenance and custodial services.
“This is going to provide opportunities for our students they’ve never had before,” she said.
Phase I, executed by Andersen Construction, was mostly the demolition stage, when walls were knocked down to allow for reconfiguring of the existing space, Pettit said. The former information technology area at A.L. will become part of the trades area.
“At A.L., we demoed out a couple storage areas so we could create a new corridor, because we took out a corridor,” she said. “At T.J., we opened up a couple rooms to make one large room, we created a new office.”
In addition, welding stations were added at both schools, she said.
The projects will go out for bids immediately, and the board will award a contract in January, Pettit said. Hopefully, work will begin soon afterwards and wrap up in August 2019.
“We’re pretty excited, and we’ve got a great timeline,” Superintendent Vickie Murillo said. “We have a lot of interest from bidders, we’ve worked with a great architectural firm.”
She said she is confident the facilities will be ready for students next fall.
The Abraham Lincoln renovation, which will require two additions and more work, will cost an estimated $849,500, according to an opinion from HGM Associates. The Thomas Jefferson remake will require only a small addition for storage and is expected to cost $380,000. Both estimates include 10 percent for contingencies.
The biggest portion of the cost at both locations will be mechanical, electrical and plumbing work and a sewer extension, which will total an estimated $225,000 at A.L. and $195,000 at T.J. Some additional demolition work will be needed at both facilities, which is expected to cost $10,000 at each.
At A.L., an addition will be built for the automotive shop, which is expected to cost about $175,000, including installation of a lift from the Tucker Center, which currently has two, Pettit said. A sewer line under the spot will have to be relocated. Removing a masonry wall and installing new beams and footings is estimated at $75,000. Another addition will be built for storage space at a cost of $50,000. Other estimated expenses will include painting of floor, walls and ceiling, $50,000; dock with ramp and stairs, $35,000; paving removal and replacement, $30,000; beams and railing at mezzanine, $30,000; ceiling with metal grid, $30,000; new concrete masonry unit walls and doors, $20,000; guardrail at ramp and hill, $15,000; relocate gas meter, $15,000; existing sewer relocation allowance, $10,000; and vinyl composition tile in new corridor, $2,500.
At T.J., the storage addition is only expected to cost $30,000. Other expenses will include: ceiling with metal grid, $35,000; painting of floor, walls and ceiling, $25,000; acoustic baffles to muffle sound for nearby classrooms, $25,000; masonry wall and door, $5,000; and new carpet in lecture room, $5,000. T.J., which once had an auto shop, will be equipped with the other lift currently at the Tucker Center, which is expected to cost $5,000 to install.
“I think this provides a lot of awesome opportunities for our students,” Pettit said.
“One thing that was important to us was that it was equitable – in other words, we have the same thing at A.L. that we have at T.J. and vice versa,” Murillo said.
Said Pettit, “That way it provides opportunities for students at each high school. They’re not going to have to drive to the Tucker Center.”
The Council Bluffs Schools Foundation will seek donations of money and equipment to outfit the shops at the two schools, Ostrowski said.
In other business, the school board voted to:
• Sell 361 square feet of property on the southwest corner of 25th Street and West Broadway to the City of Council Bluffs for $15 per square foot or $5,415. The City wanted the land to widen the sidewalk and install a decorative pillar and surrounding landscaping as part of the West Broadway Beautification Project.
• Request supplemental spending authority of $821,000 for students open-enrolled out and not counted in certified enrollment and $299,200 for 200 students with limited English who need instruction beyond the four years the state normally allows extra weighting for.
• Awarded contract to Meyer Building Solutions to provide project management services on the renovation of Wilson Middle School, Kirn Middle School and the former Target building at the Mall of the Bluffs on behalf of the school district at a cost of $93,600 plus travel expenses