Grand Forks school committee opts for $15.6 million school
By recommendation of the Grand Forks Public Schools Facilities Committee, the district's new elementary school could be fully equipped for 700 students, at a cost of about $15.6 million.
By recommendation of the Grand Forks Public Schools Facilities Committee, the district’s new elementary school could be fully equipped for 700 students, at a cost of about $15.6 million.
Of the three project options provided by JLG Architects, who is designing the building, the $15.6 million option was most expensive and most complete.
With rising construction costs, the additions that are part of the $15.6 million option, compared with cheaper options, could cost $600,000 more next year, and “half a million more down the road,” if built later, said Lonnie Laffen, JLG president. Costs are also lowered by doing all the work at once, he said.
While about 350 students are predicted for the south Grand Forks elementary school, the school is planned for 700 students. Total district enrollment increased by 110 students this fall since Aug. 31 last year, and most of that growth was in elementary schools, Assistant Superintendent Jody Thompson said in the fall.
And it looks like that the schools will only continue to grow, School Board Facilities Committee members said Tuesday before voting on their recommendation for the project.
The other two options offered by JLG - at $14 million and $15 million - would leave some parts of the 91,988-square-foot building unfinished.
The option chosen by the Facilities Committee includes wood floor and acoustic control in the gym, upgraded security and new technology.
With the school district’s bonds, North Dakota school construction loans and other projects, the district has about $17.2 million to spend on the new elementary school and furnishings and equipment for it, according to information distributed at Tuesday’s meeting.
Superintendent Larry Nybladh said school administration is “very happy with the status of the project,” and that JLG’s plans meet what the district asked for.
Laffen said there are other options - like adding more parking spots or different material for the exterior of the building - that could be added to the plans later.
The Facilities Committee recommendation will go to the full School Board for approval.