Hopeful to Award the Project to a General Contractor Next Month
|Ruth Moyer Elementary. FTM file.|
In the same vein as Highlands, the scope of the project will be limited to a complete update and renovation as opposed to demolition. The front facade of Ruth Moyer Elementary will look the same.
Administrators are awaiting approval of the bid documents from the Kentucky Department of Education. Bids must be advertised publicly for 21 days before a contractor can be chosen. With the 2015-2016 school year starting tomorrow, school officials have had to keep close tabs on some of the final preparations to get things ready for not only the start of construction, but the beginning of the year.
Superintendent Gene Kirchner admitted to supervising some of the final construction at the mobile units behind the school on a Sunday at 8:30 a.m. "We are coming down to the wire, but we are going to be ready to go," he said at the Aug. 10 School Board meeting.
New Principal at Moyer Elementary, Dawn Laber, agreed with Kirchner. "I think there was a little anxiety from the teachers, but they were able to get in last week and set up their classrooms and I think once they were in they breathed a sigh of relief. Once that happens, I think the parents do too," she said.
Laber said that the construction campaign slogan for the year will be "Building For Our Future" and parents will be updated and invited to everything starting with the groundbreaking ceremony.
"We expect to (bid out the project) before the end of August. That would mean awarding the contract to a general contractor sometime in mid September. I would anticipate there to be a groundbreaking ceremony in either late September or early October," said Kirchner. "Until that takes place, the only change at Moyer is the location of the existing moble classrooms. They have been relocated in order to allow for the demolition and construction that will be taking place. Fifth grade students will be in those classrooms when school starts on August 18th. By December 2015, all 3rd and 4th grade classrooms will also be moving to moblie classrooms that will be installed this fall."
Eliminating the geothermal saves approximately $1 million in up front project cost. "It was as much about the logistics of the project as it was about cost savings. The Moyer campus is very small, less than 5 acres. That’s about half the size typically needed to build a new elementary school. The geothermal system would have required approximately 150 wells to be dug on the campus. It would have been very tight," said Kirchner. "In addition, it would have delayed the installation of the mobile classrooms, making the overall project longer. Our engineers have designed an HVAC system that should be nearly as efficient as geothermal."
Kirchner said the project is very complicated from a logistical standpoint because of the limited amount of space on the Moyer campus. "It will require a great deal of coordination and communication over the course of the next two school years in order to make it all work. However, the end product is going to be spectacular," he said.