Substituting less costly materials for more expensive ones has given the Payson Unified School District bond construction project a $1 million surplus.
The surplus comes from the use of what is being called value engineering, which is designed to cut construction material costs.
Most of the savings from the value engineering comes from substituting materials at Rim Country Middle School and Julia Randall Elementary School.
At an earlier meeting of the school board, District Superintendent Casey O'Brien said he would agree to value engineering substitutions, only if they did not compromise the overall scope of the bond project, which was $4 million over budget at the time.
He said he is satisfied the changes had not affected the original scope, or the quality of construction materials at a meeting of the school board Thursday night.
The total estimate to complete the project at Rim Country Middle School is $8.9 million, Tim Brand with PinnacleOne said.
This is the first solid estimate PinnacleOne has submitted since the board asked them to perform value engineering.
General Contractor W.E. O'Neil used shingle roofs at Rim Country Middle School, and substituted wood-framed interior walls instead of block, and wood trusses on roofs to come in with the $8.9 million estimate.
Brand said he felt costs would continue to drop at Rim Country Middle School as the project progresses.
Board member Rory Huff asked if the changes would still provide the district with construction that would last 50 years.
Brand said they would.
The board also received preliminary estimates for renovating the rock building at Julia Randall Elementary School into administrative offices.
Using the value engineering, the estimate is $849,282, Brand said.
He said he didn't foresee estimates going down in the future for the building.
"We really need to move into the design development phase for this renovation so we can have construction designs and a guaranteed maximum price by March 1," Brand said.
Brand said if the board delayed on a decision, the price would likely rise because oil prices drive much of the construction industry.
Renovation of the rock building would need to start by January 2009 if the district wanted to be in the building by the end of that summer, Allison Suriano with W.E. O'Neil, said. The board unanimously approved moving to the design development phase at Julia Randall Elementary School.