School board airs concerns on construction deadline

Discussions on the school construction project dominated the August 11 meeting of the Maple Lake School Board.

Ann Grabau of GenCon Construction listed eight critical areas to finish before the classrooms can be used. They are mechanical and electrical, life safety (which means a safe way in and out of the building as well as fire alarms), the kitchen area, classrooms which need flooring, paint on the walls, ceilings, marker boards put up and the site area (bus area and driveway).

Grabau said they will start in the kitchen, tiles are being laid down now and the equipment will be coming in Thursday. Flooring will be started on Wednesday, Terrazzo will be started Wednesday and the work continued evenings and on the weekends.

The installation of mechanical units will start next Monday and the electrical crew will be finished by next week.

The ceilings are almost ready to go up now that the lighting is done.

The markerboards (dry erase boards) are to be shipped the end of this week or Monday at the latest.

Painting is scheduled to be started on Wednesday of this week.

Excess dirt was hauled off the site on Tuesday with the area readied for the pouring of the sidewalks at the end of this week. As soon as the black dirt is put in the sod will be laid down by the end of this week.

Tagboards (bulletin boards) will be shipped on Sept. 8. Grabau said they are coming from China and everything is put on hold because of the Olympics.

Job Gutierrez of Wold Architects questioned Grabau on the feasibility of finishing the project on time. He said that he walked through on Tuesday and only two men were laying tiles and there were no other workers.

School Board Chair Greg Mooney was also very concerned.

“We have nine working days left, and at what point do we say we are not going to make it? We have to figure out something different. We have a lot of stuff to do, a lot of trades to get in there. The finishes are the most important thing, so that when people walk in they can be proud of it, we can be proud of it. It is a lot to do in nine days, plus inspections, plus janitors, plus teachers moving in.”

Board member Chris Dombrovski mentioned she is nervous as well, but said “we need to get it done right the first time. We don’t want to call them back to redo something. Taxpayers are paying for it. We want a quality project, don’t rush if it is not quality.”

Grabau said if they have to pay overtime, they will. She said they have never not met their deadlines.

Superintendent Mark Redemske and High School Principal Mary James have a back-up plan if things are not finished in time. “It certainly has its warts, but it can work for a short time,” Redemeske said.

According to board member Dennis Klug, the board needs to make a decision on Friday, 5 p.m.

Mooney said we need to leave it in Wold’s hands. “Ann, we want you to succeed but we need some confidence,” he said.

Gutierrez told Grabau that she needed to get her overtime crews in now.

Wold has contacted 35 general contractors for the bidding of Phase II. They are looking for 10 or more solid bidders. Aug. 28 is bid date deadline.

A contractor walk-through will be scheduled for a couple of weeks before the bid date.

On the bid is the bus loop and paving. The locker room, the third station (gym) and storage rooms are alternates. This means that the bid is based on the bus loop and paving and if it is low enough they can bid on the others.

The bid will be awarded at the next school board meeting on Sept. 8.

More information appears in this week’s issue of the Messenger or subscribe to the on-line E-dition of the paper.