By Jean A. Flanagan
Moorefield Examiner –
At the request of the architects and construction managers, contractors for the Moorefield High School and East Hardy High School have submitted value engineering proposals which will significantly reduce the costs of the projects.
“We are not trying to decrease the quality of the project, but we know there are some areas we can realize some savings,” said Greg Williamson of Williamson-Shriver Architects. “You’re in a very good situation.
Although the number is preliminary, value engineering will reduce the cost of the project by at least $252,175. “We are still waiting for a total cost reduction from a ceramic tile revision,” Williamson said.
As a result of the cost savings the Hardy County Board of Education voted to replace the gymnasium floor at East Hardy High School. The cost of the gym floor is $142,000.
Superintendent Barbara Whitecotton, said she met with representatives of the West Virginia School Building Authority, and the gym floor was the only one of 11 alternates acceptable to the funding body. “They said if there were any funds left, they would give it to the gym floor,” she said.
“I find it strange that the SBA would fund a gym floor and not additional classrooms,” BOE member Nancy Hahn said.
Two of the alternates proposed were additional classrooms for EHHS. The total cost for the two rooms is budgeted at more than $275,000.
“The fact of the matter is, if student enrollment grows, we can go back to the SBA and request additional funding for classrooms,” Whitecotton said. “The building is structured so they can be added. East Hardy High School has the same amount of instructional space.”
BOE Vice President Loy Kesner asked about the contingency funds earmarked for each school. “There is $335,000 in contingency money. Do we have to give $175,000 of that back to the SBA?”
Williamson said it was too early in the process to look at contingency money as being surplus. “What we’ll do, at the end of the project, is look at things we didn’t buy,” he said.
“Here we are cutting corners, and if there is contingency money left over, we will have to give half of it back to the SBA,” Kesner said. “That’s just not right.”
Visitor Jerry Yates tried to offer some perspective on the situation.
“We’ve got a lot of money from the state over the past few years,” he said. “We got a good split on this project. I know for a fact that people outside of this county are not happy that we got a 50/50 split on the project. We should be happy we were able to move forward with this.”
The Board also voted to decline the remaining alternatives, which included Terrazzo flooring at both schools, new bleachers at MHS, an enlarged greenhouse at EHHS and roof replacement over the Vo-Ag section at EHHS.