The North Bend Eagle


Bond passes, ground to be broken in fall

by Nathan Arneal
Published 3/20/13

The district patrons of North Bend Central gave landslide approval for a bond issue to improve and update its two school buildings last Tuesday, with 78 percent of voters for the bond.

With that hurdle cleared, the NBC school board began looking at the next step in the process at its meeting Thursday night. Bob Soukup of Carlson West Povondra Architects told the board the goal is to break ground on the new projects sometime this fall.

“This is where I get the fun balance of ‘work, work, work, get it done because we want to start building,’ and the other side of ‘whoa, make sure we get to see all the information because we want to do it right,’” Soukup said. “Those don’t always balance with each other, but we’ll do our best.”

Soukup said the design work that has to be done before construction can begin is broken into three phases:

• Schematic development will last from two to four weeks. This consists of getting the general layout and footprint of the design figured out and adding detail to the plans that were shown publicly during the bond campaign.

• Next comes design development which will take about four weeks. This is when the technical points of the plans are developed. The architects will work closely with NBC technology coordinator Jim Cody in figuring out where power sources, data ports, projector systems, sound systems and other such components will be located. Product options will be chosen during this phase as well. What color of floor tile will be used? What style of scoreboard and bleachers will go in the new gym?

• Then comes the construction documents phase, which will last eight to 12 weeks. Here the designers go into the specific structure detail to make the plans ready for a contractor who can put a number on each line item and prepare a bid.

Soukup said he hopes the plans will be ready to be released to contractors by the end of the summer. Once the bidding process is complete, dirt work and construction of footings should be able to begin by September or October. Soukup said he expects that one general contractor will be chosen for both the elementary and high school building sites.

The board will be shown the plans and have a chance to give input at the end of each phase.

Soukup and his colleagues have already begun meeting with members of the NBC faculty and staff to get their input on the design and layout of the additions and renovations. The architects have met with five groups: science, facilities, special education, office staff and athletics.

One result of those discussions is the elimination of a hallway that the pre-vote plans showed running on the west side of the existing high school building. It was decided that this hallway was unnecessary and might prove difficult to supervise. Instead, the entire space between the current high school and the wrestling practice building will be devoted to storage.

The three current science rooms will be renovated into four classrooms. A little more than half of that space will be devoted to special education. Soukup said with the water hookups from the old science rooms, that space would be well suited for installing a kitchenette and washer and dryer to provide special ed students with life skills practice.

Currently there is a hallway running behind the three science rooms that gives access to five small office-sized rooms. Soukup said after discussing ideas with the special ed department that one room could be used as a behavior cool down room. Another would serve as an office for speech pathology, while two of the rooms could be combined into a shower and rest room facility for students who need assistance and practice with those life skills.

Soukup said construction at the elementary school will cause very little interference to the school day, since most of the work will be done outside the footprint of the current school. However, he said work at the high school, much of which involves renovation of the current structure, will be a little more intrusive.

Construction of the new sections will happen first, so the locker rooms and science department can move into their new digs while the current science and locker rooms are renovated.

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