By Tim Linscott
Ground is slated to be broken on the addition to the Perkins County High School in either late spring or early summer of this year, barring any drastic changes to cost estimates procured from the district.
With the completion of the addition of the building the Madrid school site will be closed.
At the January PCS board meeting, board president Shawn Turner explained that the plans for the addition to the high school are complete.
“The final designs are pretty much done,” Turner said.
The plans will need some ‘minor tweaking,’ according to Stephen Granger, architect for the project with CG Architects of North Platte.
PCS Superintendent William Hakonson explained that the final building addition plans are “97 percent done.”
Once completed, the project construction manager, Mark Lewis of BD Construction in Kearney, will estimate cost for the building addition.
Costs for the project are expected by the end of February, the beginning of March, according to school officials.
Estimated time of construction, once ground is broken, is 14 months, Hakonson said, and could start in late spring or early summer.
Once the new facility is added on to the high school, the building will house grades seven-12. The high school currently houses grades nine-12.
The Madrid facility currently houses grades six through eight. After the Grant building is expanded, the elementary will house grades kindergarten through six.
The new addition will be two levels with the main level totaling 21,000 square feet.
The addition will include a new gymnasium with a capacity of 930 people. Locker rooms will be all on one level in the new addition.
Granger explained that the decision to put locker rooms all on one level, as opposed to going downstairs, as is the current setup at the high school, deals with building codes.
“We follow all fire and handicap accessibility codes when doing these projects, so we have to put everything on one level,” Granger said.
Also included in the ground level will be a new commons area/cafeteria area, a new concession stand and a new kitchen featuring cold and dry storage and dishwashing area.
Another consideration in the design process with the project is, according to Granger, the security issue.
With the new addition the entire school, sans one specific section, can be closed for a contest or event.
“We looked at security-type things in this project. You can close off one section of the school for a game and not have to have the entire building open,” Granger said.
The second level of the addition will be 7,200 square feet of classrooms with an additional 2,000 square feet of weight room and mechanical room space.
A final overview of the plans will be completed within the next two weeks before completely finalizing the designs.
Once final cost figures are established for the new addition, the PCS school board will review those figures to see if they fall in line with estimates the district has been monitoring.
“We’re waiting to make sure the costs line up with our expectations. We will be getting hard numbers on the addition and making sure those numbers are in line with the estimates,” Jayson Bishop, PCS school board member and a member of the building and grounds committee, said.
What to do with the Madrid building once the new addition has been built has not been finalized.
Bishop said the board is waiting on the final go ahead on the high school addition before weighing options on the Madrid site.
If, for some reason, the ‘hard figures’ for the high school addition are way out of line with estimates, Bishop said the board will look at other options.
With several major construction projects in the works in the region, including the hospital in North Platte, school in Ogallala and hospital expansion in Grant, another option the board would consider is waiting for those projects to complete in order for costs to lower.
“We could wait for the busy time to calm down as an option, too,” Bishop said.
Bishop expects blueprints of the addition to be at the February school board meeting, slated for Feb. 17, for the public to review.