School board will pick school options on Monday night

A rendered image of the View scheme favored for the Kodiak High School renovation and expansion project. The black parts represent the auditorium, beige parts are the existing school and the white is new construction. (Image courtesy of KIBSD)

Running track or music room? Paved parking or a new wood floor in the gym?

These are the decisions the Kodiak school board will make at 6 p.m. Monday night as it decides which of 11 options to include as part of the $80 million Kodiak High School expansion and renovation project.

The 11 options had been included as part of a package deal, but after construction bids came in higher than expected, the school board is left with tough decisions as it figures out how to make the project fit within its budget.

The Kodiak Island Borough’s engineering and facilities department has already chimed in with its recommendations.

In addition to the $61 million basic bid, the department is recommending construction of a $965,000 music room and the paving of the new Mill Bay Road parking lot for $247,000.

In its memo to the school board, the engineering and facilities department acknowledges the music room as a top educational need. Borough staff said paving the new Mill Bay Road parking lot — built last year for more than $1 million — is necessary to help snow removal and to ease parking while construction takes place.

According to a preliminary adjusted budget, adding those two alternatives would mean a construction budget of $67 million. That amount includes a 5 percent reserve to cover unforeseen problems during construction.

Among the items dropped from the borough’s consideration was an indoor running track and a $1.5 million exterior renovation to remaining portions of the school building. Also dropped were heated sidewalks to ease snow removal, a new gym floor and repaving of the school’s main Rezanof Drive parking lot.

Had all 11 options been included in the project, construction costs would have risen to more than $66 million, pushing the total project cost to more than $82 million.

Even with a more limited project to deal with, borough budgeters have still had to move money around in the project’s budget.

The latest projected budget shows borough accounts absorbing more of a financial hit as the account marked to compensate borough staff for time spent on the project has dropped from $4.8 million to $1.3 million.

Equipment costs have risen, and the overall project reserve — construction reserves are separate — has dropped from $4.3 million to $1.5 million.

These switches have allowed more of the project’s $80 million budget to go to construction and less to overhead.

Contact Mirror editor James Brooks at editor@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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