The AHS Building Committee would again like to update the community on the building project status. In November, after receiving the Design Development estimate, the Committee requested the design and construction team to further clarify and review the project estimate. This process has resulted in a final Design Development estimate that shows a gap of $24.7 million between estimate and budget, a decrease of ~$5 million since November. Much of the remaining gap is attributable to the rapidly changing construction market and the number of large, competing projects underway.
The Building Committee continues its work to align the project with the approved budget through value engineering, design modifications, and changes in scope. During meetings on December 3rd, 9th, and 10th, the group discussed a variety of ways to close the gap, while maintaining the education program and functionality, building quality, and sustainability. Also considered was the ability to list some items as alternates, which would allow them to be included later in the project if the budget allows.
One of the largest items being discussed is reducing the number of geothermal wells while still maintaining the sustainability goals of an all-electric and carbon-neutral building. Other large items include lighting and artificial turf for the new athletic fields, bike path connection, eastside pedestrian stairs and ramp, and modified materials and design. The inclusion of some of these components may mean the potential exclusion of others. Though considered, changes to project phasing was discarded because of student impact and negligible savings.
The Building Committee will meet next on December 17th to further discuss the project team’s suggestions with the goal of making final decisions on aligning the project with the budget. A second meeting is scheduled on December 18th in case it is needed. To maintain the project timeline it is important to finalize the project scope as soon as possible.
As the AHS Building Project continues to move forward, the Committee remains committed to both fiscal responsibility and building an educationally exceptional facility that will serve our town for generations.
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