RHS holds groundbreaking for $7 million addition and renovation
Members of the administration, school board, and student council and its advisor, held a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, May 13 in the northwest corner of the RHS campus. The main part of the school’s $7.9 million renovation and addition project will begin after students are released for summer vacation, May 27.
“Thanks to the school board, through their leadership, this project will last a long time,” said Dave Zwingel, principal, RHS.
The student council was charged with making a new time capsule for embedding in the new addition.
The first phase of the project, removal of some of the asbestos was completed during the Christmas break in 2010. On March 2, the school board accepted all bids with the exception of four areas: earthwork, paving and surfacing, utilities and concrete. At a special meeting on March 29, the board voted to accept a bid of $628,636.23 for the above mentioned four areas and a local contractor, Pinky’s Aggregates, Inc., Rolette was notified that his bid was approved.
As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act the Rugby School District has been allocated $6 million in qualified school construction bonds, which are subsidized, to provide the school district with an effective interest rate of 0% in these funds. The bond was voted in by the people in the primary election in June 2010.
However, by 2011 the cost of the project including alternatives had increased to $7.9 million. Discussion was held in March and the board made a resolution and brought it up for first reading at the March 2 meeting that would authorize the sale of $1.2 million in limited tax bonds for upgrade of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HAVC) systems, removal of asbestos and compliance with the American Disabilities Act. The board approved the authorization on March 29. The final $900,000 of the cost is covered by building fund and general fund dollars.
“Rarely, has the timing of the need for a project and availability of low cost financing come together as they did for this project,” said Superintendent Jeff Lind.
Some prep work for the project has been done to the north side of the campus, west of the gym, where new construction for food service, reception and office space, and the commons will be. The new construction phase is projected to take approximately 8 months. Starting as soon as school is finished for this year, asbestos abatement of the classrooms will be done. Over the summer the remodel and upgrade of classrooms and bathrooms in the 1955 high school wing, will be done.
In December 2011/January 2012, according to the project plan, the final asbestos abatement part of the project will be conducted over the 2011 Christmas vacation.
The total project is expected to be completed in August of 2012, in time for the start of the 2012-2013 school year.
“How fortunate our students are that we live in a progressive community that recognized the need for improvements for our school facility,” said Lind.
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