During the Primary Election this past May, voters said “yes” to a $42 million renovation project for the New Prairie United School Corporation (NPUSC).
The school board appointed a Technical Review Committee to evaluate proposals for the execution of the project.
The committee consists of members of the NPUSC administration: Dr. Paul White (Superintendent), Kelly Kitchen (Chief Financial Officer), Greg Dudeck (Building and Grounds Director) and Brian Williamson (Athletics and Activities Director). Also serving on the committee are two consultants, an architect and engineer.
After reviewing the initial qualifications of six construction and design teams, the Technical Review Committee has narrowed it down to three “Design-Build” teams which will submit their formal proposals by September 30.
The design proposals will be scored in public meeting by the Technical Review Committee on October 13. Each financial proposal will also be scored separately.
The public meeting will be held in the Board Room at 3:00pm CT.
“The team that presents the best value, the most on our list of things we want done for the cost value, will be awarded the project,” White said.
The Design-Build contract will be awarded at the school board’s meeting on Monday, October 24.
Currently, the Committee is engaged in ongoing meetings and interviews with each of the three teams to discuss the various aspects of the project. NPUSC will own the designs from all three teams, regardless of which team is ultimately awarded the contract.
“If we like an element from one team’s design, but choose another team’s proposal, we will be able to incorporate it into the final project,” White said.
Construction will officially begin in the spring, with the Corporation anticipating the entire project to be completed during the 2019-20 school year.
Over 70-percent of the work will be focused on updating New Prairie High School, which was built in 1968. However, each of the Corporation's facilities will receive upgrades.
Among the highest priorities will be improving the entries to all the school buildings to make them more secure.
NPUSC has already moved forward with one of the projects that was initially listed in the renovation plan.
The school board approved the use of $750,000 from the district’s rainy day fund to completely renovate the high school swimming pool. In addition to reconstructing the pool tank, the natatorium received a new ceiling, flooring and spectator seating.
The loss of water out of the old tank, plus the consideration of the upcoming swim season, caused the corporation to move forward with the natatorium upgrades before the actual renovation project got underway.
“We had to take into account our swim programs and didn’t want to disrupt their seasons,” White said.
The work on the natatorium is expected to be complete by September 12, and barring no delays, an open house will be scheduled for the public.
White is committed to utilizing the NPUSC website (www.npusc.k12.in.us) as a resource for the community to keep track of the project’s progress.
Not only will there be a calendar timeline of the specific construction projects, but there will also be financial reporting regarding how the various aspects of the renovations are meeting their budgets.
“We want this to be as straightforward as possible,” White said.