New high school in 2015

By Michael Maresh
Journal Staff Writer

Several things are up in the air following the successful passage of the school bond in the Nov. 6 election, which will result in a new state-of-the-art high school being built at the intersection of Seventh and Sligo streets.

The facility, which school district administrators hope is ready for the beginning of the school year in 2015, will not start construction until February of 2014, according to the schedule released by the Montezuma-Cortez School District Re-1.

But that timeline is fluid, said Superintendent Alex Carter.

“We won’t know the actual construction timeline until we get the design done,” Carter said. “Our build is very different from the one in Dolores — they already have their plans and will be getting right down to business. We have a blank piece of paper. No design work has been done. We are starting from the beginning now, and will have a building open for the beginning of school September 2015.”

Carter said the first step is to recruit, interview, and hire a high-quality owner’s representative who will be the district’s “eyes and ears” for the project.

The request for proposals for this went out last Friday, and the information has been placed on the district’s website.

The owner’s representative will work closely with the general contractors, architects, sub-contractors and other groups to ensure that the job is being well done, is on or under budget and remains on schedule.

After hiring the owner’s representative the district will either design-build which is a system of building where one company is both the general contractor and the architectural firm or a construction managed/general contractor joint operation.

This decision would be made before the district leaves for winter break in late December.

If the district selects design board it will interview and select this type of firm in early January. If a contract managed or general contractor is chosen, the district will then interview and select the firms in early January.

Carter said once the district knows who will be designing and building the new high school, it will organize focus groups to get input into what the school should look like, feel like and what it should include.

Carter said he wants people to voice their opinions, and some of these meetings will be invitation only, while others will be open access public meetings.

“We will be looking at the best ideas from recent school construction, and will develop innovations unique to our district,” he said. “All of this input will help inform the architects as they begin the design process.”

He said this process will last half of a year, with the final school design submitted by June 30, 2013.

On Jan. 21 the design process is tentatively scheduled to begin, and in March 2013 the first design submission from the architect will take place which will be followed by the second design submission in June with the final approval coming on the last day of June.

From July to November the construction documents/permitting/state review is scheduled, while the bidding and negotiation will occur Nov. 13.

From December 2013 to April 2014 the site work, utilities and improvements are scheduled and the actual construction will happen from February 2014 to July 2015 with a move in date scheduled for August.

Carter said all the dates are estimates, as circumstances could happen that could impact these scheduled dates.

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