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Construction nears completion on Lindbergh's Proposition 4


June 15, 2005 - Proposition 4 construction soon will be complete, and Lindbergh School District officials say work on the $14.1 million bond issue should be finished on time and within budget.

Work on a new swimming pool and traffic-safety improvements at Lindbergh High School and the replacement of a playground at the Early Childhood Education Center are the only projects that remain under Proposition 4 and are scheduled to be completed this summer, according to Karl Guyer, facilities director.

"We are very much close to the end," Guyer said.

Construction began June 1 at the high school to complete the safety project to separate pedestrians from traffic. The project will widen the in and out lanes and the center median, create a left-turn egress lane and straighten the main tentrance. The project also will replace the light standards to improve lighting in the parking lot and close the central corridor to create a pedestrian commons for students.

During the construction, the main entrance will be closed, but the east and west entrances will remain open.

Work also is nearing completion on a new natatorium with a swimming pool. The new pool will be 25 meters long and 25 yards wide and will be deep enough for diving and competitive swimming.

"On the high school campus, we're completing the pool renovation, and that work should be completed sometime in mid-August, so that's on schedule," Guyer said.

A dedication ceremony is planned for the pool after it is completed, but a date has not been set, Guyer said.

"I think when students are able to start swimming in this new facility, it's going to be a wild experience," he said. "I think the original pool was built in 1954, so was a long time coming."

The only other project left to be completed is at the Early Childhood Education Center. The replacement of the old, arsenic-treated wood play structures was slowed by an unforeseen problem.

"The old playground has been removed, and we're waiting to install the new playground after some stormwater drainage work has been completed," Guyer said. "I'm a little unsure of whether it's going to be ready for the start of school (in August) or by early September. I can't say completely."

Pat Lanane, assistant superintendent for finance and the district's chief financial officer, said he is pleased by the progress on Proposition 4.

"It appears to be on schedule, the quality seems to be good and we appear to be on budget right now, and those are the three things we want to watch, and all three are very positive right now," Lanane said.

Guyer said that the $14.1 million bond from Proposition 4 has earned a total estimated amount of interest of $146,000 since the bonds were issued. Therefore, the project has a gross total of about $14,246,000. Minus $176,000 for the cost of the bond issuance, the district has about $14.07 million for the project.

The district already has paid $12,732,000 to construction manager McCarthy Construction Co. and other contractors.

Lindbergh also has spent nearly $540,000 on architectural fees, pre-construction services and internal fees for custodial work, Guyer said.

The remaining $800,000, which includes the contingency, is to cover the remaining construction costs.

"Our contingency could be close, but we think we have enough contingency to finish the project," Guyer said.

District voters approved Proposition 4 in the April 2003 election. A four-sevenths supermajority was required for approval.

The $14.1 million bond issue was designed to address safety issues at all schools in the Lindbergh school district. The measure increased the district's debt-serve tax rate by 10 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

Both teachers and students already have begun reaping the benefits of the proposition. At the high school, the locker rooms have been renovated and a multipurpose room has been built that has two instructional areas separated with a moveable wall.

"At the high school the multipurpose room has been very actively used since it's been completed," Guyer said.

Sperreng Middle School now has more parking spaces and an improved traffic route. The school's music room, practice and storage area also was renovated to accommodate for the larger student body.

"At Sperreng the teaching staff was very complimentary about the changes and they're very excited about the area," Guyer said.

Crestwood, Kennerly and Sappington elementary schools all have more parking spaces and an improved traffic route. Truman Elementary's library's size was increased to accommodate for the school's size. In addition, each elementary school has had its arsenic-treated playground structures replaced by metal and plastic structures.

"All the elementary schools have had new playgrounds installed," Guyer said. "All the kids have been extremely excited about them."

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