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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, December 06, 2017 1:00 am

EACS makes move to avoid project delays

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Unforeseen complications are common in renovation projects, and East Allen County Schools has had its share of construction surprises.

With a nearly $30 million renovation of New Haven High School underway, the school board took action Tuesday to minimize potential delays.

The board unanimously approved a $700,000 internal allowance for the project so district personnel can respond to construction needs without having to submit change orders for board approval.

The change order process could affect the construction schedule, Chief Financial Officer Kirby Stahly said.

Construction is targeted for completion by the start of the 2019-20 academic year, he said, and crews are diligently working to meet that goal.

Improvements include a secure entrance, the addition of an auxiliary gym on the west side and the addition of a two-story seventh- and eighth-grade wing on the east side. The school has historically had grades 9 through 12 but will serve 7 through 12.

Construction is a common sight throughout East Allen as it makes a host of improvements, which include additional classrooms at the elementary school level.

Tuesday's decision does not affect other construction projects, Stahly said, noting the district budgeted for unforeseen expenses.

The action increases the total project allowance for the high school to 3.5 percent, which is more in line with the average of other contracts. The contract with Hagerman Construction has an allowance of $310,000 – or about 1.1 percent of the awarded $29.2 million contract.

Hagerman was one of four bidders for the project, which was initially budgeted for $29.6 million. EACS awarded the contract in July.