SHERWOOD — Renovations and paving projects approved by the Fairview Local Board of Education are moving along quickly at Fairview Middle/High School.

Those renovations are part of Phase I of a two-phase plan, that includes updated classrooms and other spaces, as well as an exterior paving project.

In addition, a bus garage and associated site exterior projects near Fairview Elementary School were scheduled to take place as part of renovations this summer. However, due to a shortage of materials, that project won’t begin until February of 2022.

Superintendent Steve Arnold explained Phase I projects came in under estimates, and are scheduled to be completed before school begins Aug. 31.

“The areas to be remodeled were under discussion prior to my arrival in 2018, but serious discussions began as we were trying to pass the (permanent improvement levy) in 2019,” said Arnold. “Once the levy passed, we finalized the plans and spent the last several months putting together what was best in Phase I. We were very conscious of what our collections would, or would not, be before we made any decision.

“With interest rates the way they are right now, we felt it made sense to borrow the money at such a low rate to get the projects completed now,” continued Arnold. “As of today, we are pretty close to being right on schedule, with a completion date the last week of August. Our original estimates for Phase I were $3.5 million, but our bids came in under $3 million, which is great considering the construction climate we are in right now.”

Mel Lanzer Company of Napoleon, is handling the work on the interior projects, which includes renovations to middle/high school restrooms, sixth- eighth-grade science rooms, the high school general, physical and life science rooms, and the band and chorus rooms.

The base bid for the project was $954,900, with an alternative one bid of $36,000 for classroom furnishings, and an alternative two bid of $5,990 for painting prep. That brought the total bid to $997,690, approximately $500,000 under the estimated bid of $1.5 million.

Meanwhile, the parking lot projects were awarded to Vernon Nagel, Inc. of Napoleon, at a cost of $842,450, slightly higher than the estimate of $770,000.

That work includes repaving areas, as well as new paving on the east and south side of the property. The paving to the east essentially doubled parking there, while the new asphalt lot that stretches to the varsity football and baseball fields, replaces a stone lot in that area to the south.

“On May 17, we began with asbestos removal in several areas on the interior of the building, with several workers tearing into the band and chorus rooms, as well as the restrooms, to get a head-start on those,” said Arnold. “When June rolled around, it’s been a lot of demolition. The tiers in the band room have been removed and that space is ready for concrete, and the middle school restrooms are definitely taking shape.

“There is still a lot of work to do, a lot of prep, but we are confident that our community is going to be very proud of the finished product,” added Arnold.

At the time the bids were accepted, Arnold explained there would be other work associated with the project that were not part of the bid packages. That work includes: supplying internet to the bus garage, removal of dirt from the bus garage site, installation of Clever Touch educational white boards and the asbestos removal in the interior spaces. Those projects are/were to be handled by the district or other contractors.

“This has been a very exciting process, there are so many people to thank for making it happen, starting with our community who supported the levy to make improvements for years to come,” said Arnold. “Our maintenance staff has been amazing, our general contractor has been great to work with, and our engineer has been very helpful with the exterior projects, which are moving at light speed.

“The parking lots came together very quickly, but at the same time we’re a little disappointed we weren’t able to get the bus garage project done when we wanted,” continued Arnold. “We understand why, there is a shortage of product, but we’re confident it will done sometime in February.”

As far as Phase II, Arnold explained discussions have taken place, but nothing is set in stone.

“Once these projects in Phase I are completed, we will look deeper into, and have more discussions about Phase II,” said Arnold. “Some Phase II discussions have included upgrading the main gymnasium, and looking at upgrading the southwest entrance to the middle school/high school.”

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