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Prop 4 projects completed on time, on budget, Lindbergh officials say

October 19, 2005 - By LAURA UHLMANSIEK

Staff Reporter

Lindbergh School District officials an-nounced last week that districtwide building improvements funded by the Propo-sition 4 bond issue have been completed on time and on budget.

Karl Guyer, executive director of planning and development, told the Board of Education Oct. 11 that construction is substantially complete. All that remains is a few punch lists of items that the district has asked contractors to address before the district issues the final payment.

"I'm glad that there has been an awful lot of work by a lot of folks for many months and by staff in getting this work accomplished, and I think it's to their credit how smoothly this has really gone," Guyer told the board. "We talk about first quality, on time, on budget, with minimum disruption to the school, and with an awful lot of help, this has come to fruition."

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 de-signed 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.

Pat Lanane, assistant superintendent for finance, told the Call that although the district has not yet determined the final total cost of the project, he expects the district will have a contingency of about $12,000.

"We got very judicial in what we allowed to be changed as we got to the end of this, and we're going to come down within thousands of dollars," Lanane said. "It's not going to be tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands left at the end of the project, it's just going to be very, very close. Which is OK, there's nothing wrong with that. I think the public thinks that's how it always works out. It never does when you're talking about a huge project and a large amount of money. Our goal is to make sure it doesn't go over that."

For the projects, the district had budgeted $14.071 million, which includes the $14.1 million bond issue and its earned interest minus bond issuance fees.

After the board had approved the bids for the project, the district was faced with two costly unanticipated projects. The district had to install a water line for the fire service and replace four outmoded electrical transfers with a single more efficient trans-former.

"What made it very, very difficult, and I'm not criticizing the fire department in any way, but we had an unexpected change order right off the bat for $350,000," Lanane said, noting that some bid alternates were rejected to keep the project on budget.

Each school received renovations through the project. For example, Crestwood, Ken-nerly and Sappington elementary schools all have more parking spaces and an im-proved traffic route to enhance safety.

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

In addition, each elementary school and the Early Childhood Education Center has new metal and plastic playground structures to replace the older arsenic-treated playground equipment.

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. The last projects to be completed were renovations of the parking lot and entrance and construction of the high school's swimming pool. The new pool is 25 meters long and 25 yards wide and will be deep enough for diving and competitive swimming.

"At the end of the day, the public got what they paid for, and that's what we were really saying Tuesday night (at the Oct. 11 board meeting)," Lanane told the Call.

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