Payson School Project Progresses

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Building a solid educational foundation for Payson-area school kids will soon get more comfortable for educators and students at Julia Randall Elementary School, thanks to the on-schedule bond construction project highlighted at a Wednesday night open house at the school.

"Design drawings are finished and have been submitted," said Tim Brand with PinnacleOne Construction Consulting.

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Julia Randall Elementary School Principal Rob Varner explains to a member of the community details of bond-funded construction during Wednesday's open house.

"I anticipate the next 60 days are going to be our busiest in the course of this project, as we get all the drawings completed and get a guaranteed maximum price, and then get all that back to the board," he said.

Brand told the board that after solving some issues brought up at recent board meetings regarding roof pitch changes, cash flow and time crunches, crews should finish before the start of the 2009 school year.

The good news about school construction came at the Monday, Jan. 14 school board meeting when Brand said the project is still within budget and on schedule.

He said the district could solve a cash flow problem by selling the bonds sooner.

"A revised budget based reflecting the changes requested by the board was submitted on Nov. 5 and everything is right on schedule," said Brand.

The open house gave community members a chance to meet with people who will be doing the work at Julia Randall Elementary.

Henry Halikowski, project manager for Phoenix-based PinnacleOne Construction Consulting, presented architectural renderings. The open house offered community members at the lightly attended affair a chance to see what will happen to the school in the next year-and-a-half.

The issue of roof pitch had concerned board members at previous meetings. Several board members questions whether the proposed slope of one inch per foot would provide enough drainage. So, the developer revised the plans to provide a slope of three inches per foot.

Many community members had also opposed any plan that would impact the historic and distinctive rock building, but the plans presented Wednesday indicated the building will be preserved.

Some things will, however, change.

For example, a new student pick-up and drop-off area will make getting kids to and from school easier; and the basketball courts will be moved from the east side to the northwest area at the front of the school.

Construction will take place in two phases. First, the contractor will put up the new buildings, then in phase two, students and school staff will move into the new buildings so renovation can proceed on the old ones, said Halikowski Wednesday.

If all goes smoothly, he hopes to begin construction at Julia Randall Elementary by April, 1 so Pinnacle One can get security fencing and walkways up and start construction in earnest by April 15.

Both projects are scheduled for completion around August of 2009.

PinnacleOne Construction is also submitting an application to the school facilities board for a $250,000 grant for energy upgrades that could save the district thousands of dollars each year, said Brand.

At Monday's board meeting, Brand added that crews have fixed chronic roof leaks.

"The roofing projects at Rim Country Middle School are nearly complete," he said. "You've had some heavy rains up here since December, and that created five new minor leaks at the school, but Progressive Roofing has assured me they'll get those fixed right away," said Brand.

Board member Mike Horton asked about the new leaks and Brand said they were in areas like the flashing on the parapet walls and around air conditioning and heating vents, but that they are all small and caused relatively minor damage.

"We have a five-year workmanship warranty and a 20-year manufacturer's warranty, so I don't foresee any problems," said Brand.

During last Monday's board meeting, District Director of Maintenance and Transportation Todd Poer had also reported that the district's years-long struggle to get BMJS Contracting out of Winslow to repair roofs on Payson High School's Old Main building could be nearing an end.

He said the leaks at both the high school and middle school concern vents and flashing where roof-lines and walls meet.

He said the "waterfall" leak in Payson High School Principal Roy Sandoval's office is, for the most part, sealed.

"BMJS has done back-flips to complete everything we've asked them for," said Poer, at no additional cost to the district.

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