School project ETA Dec. 14

On Tuesday, Jan. 9, the Sun spoke with El Dorado Springs School Superintendent Mark Koca about the $5.6 million construction project with is underway with a Dec. 14, 2018, completion target.

Q. Where are we on construction?

They are getting ready to pour concrete as we speak. In fact, if you want a photo op, now would be the time. They have the pump set up. It will be quite the circus.

Q. When is it scheduled to be completed?

The substantial completion date is Dec. 14, 2018. The last construction meeting we had, they said they are about 10 days behind schedule, but they thought they could make that up as the weather got a little better.

Q. The elevator – could they go ahead and finish it or do they have to work in a specific order?

No, they actually said in our last meeting they are probably going to start on it pretty quickly here. There are some issues there with egress because that is one of our fire exits. So, we can’t just close down every exit we have to the building. There is some work that has to be done before they can close that off and start working on the elevator. There is an internal hallway we are building that will provide a second exit. It’s got to be done before they can close that one off.

Editor’s note: The elevator will be installed at the north end of the school building at the end of the current west hallway.

Part of the elevator equipment will be in a pit just outside the current north door.

Q. What’s the elevator going to cost?

About $600,000, in that range.

Q. Will it be Dec. 14 before they can finish the elevator or can they get it done earlier?

I think they might finish that earlier because it is kind of a stand alone thing.

Q. That’s what I thought. Construction doesn’t wrap all the way around to it, does it?


Q. And you said there is a sewer line there we have to leave?

Yes, the main sewer line out of the basement of the High School passes through that area. We’re not exactly sure where but it’s going to be close to the excavation and they have to keep working around that. I’m sure they can figure it out.

Q. How many classrooms is this going to add? I know it’s going to add a gym.

Well, essentially four classroom spaces if we count the locker room.

They will be to the north of the gym on the ground floor. Beyond that will be the Middle School weight room. Then on the second floor will be your classrooms for choir and band.

Q. And I think you may have told me last time we talked: they are going to store the musical instruments up level with the current gym so you don’t have to carry them?

Right, the band room and the choir room will be on same floor as the main High School gym now.

Q. Will you have to buy fixtures for the new classrooms?

Just a lot of storage. We’ll move chairs from existing classrooms.

Q. What put construction 10 days behind?

Well, I would have to say that the excavation company was a little slower than I would have liked to have seen. I’m sure they had difficulties that were not expected but they had quite a few days they could have worked but didn’t. That’s part of it. Then the extraordinarily cold weather we have had the last couple of weeks made things crawl at a snail’s pace.

The great news is they got the electrical stuff across the street and all that conversion done over break. We had the High School disconnected from electricity for eight days while they made that conversion.

We were starting to sweat it because the temperature was getting down below 40 in the building.

Q. Afraid you were going to freeze some pipes?

Yes. The electrical company really stepped up and did a great job. They worked long, hard, nasty hours out there in the cold to get done so we could get the power back on. This was Bill’s Electric.

Our cooks managed to get breakfast before the power went out this morning (a planned shut down for testing of the city’s new electrical sub-station) so everybody had breakfast.

Q. This is all going to be paid for by extending the bonds – no increase?

Yes. We sold bonds to pay for it on a no tax increase basis. Then we refinanced some debt along with the bond sales so everybody is a winner there.

We just appreciate everybody’s patience with our crazy traffic patterns we are having to do. I know it’s tough but everybody’s been real good about it.

It’s going pretty well. I think we’ve got a good project. I’m very happy with Branco so far. They’ve done a good job of taking care of business and working with us, working around our crazy schedules.

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