On Tuesday and Wednesday, the borough’s architectural review board heard a lengthy presentation from architect Tony Yorba and a panel of engineers who unveiled the latest in a series of updates on the multimillion-dollar project.
The review board’s work is far from over, however. Board member Jerrol Friend said Thursday night that because of the sheer size of the project, the board will email questions and comments to architects as members review the voluminous plans.
On most projects, the board looks over the plans during a meeting and responds with questions. But most projects aren’t this size.
“We’ll probably be spending the next four to five months looking at these,” Friend said. “Any free time I’ve got is going to be spent reviewing those plans.”
At this point, the review board is aiming at a moving target. Because the plans are only 65 percent complete, there’s a chance that architects may make significant changes before finalization, expected in June.
One significant change occurred about a month ago, when architects realized they inadvertently left out office space for the borough’s maintenance department, currently housed in a handful of container vans scheduled for removal.
To supply space for the maintenance department, architects had to redesign the school’s site plan, leaving in place an outbuilding scheduled for demolition. On Wendesday, the ARB offered advice on accommodating the outbuilding, including revising parking curbs and traffic flow.
In a Kodiak Island Borough Assembly meeting Thursday night, Friend, a member of the assembly, said the key concern moving forward is to eliminate costly items that may put the high school project over budget. The earlier those items are eliminated from the plans, the less work — and thus cost — will be involved.
As an example, Friend mentioned large motors or heat exchangers that might be required.
“You’re talking huge dollar figures when you add those things up,” he said.
Borough engineering director Woody Koning said the project’s cost is making everyone slow down and take second, third or even fourth looks at project components.
“Normally we have an ARB review at 35, 65 and 95 percent,” he said. “Because it’s such a large project and costly and important, they’ve decided to have another review at 80 percent.”
Friend said no date has been set up for that meeting, but he expects the borough assembly to become involved before too long, making decisions on what building add-ons should be held off from the project to stay under budget.
“This is a work in progress, and the ARB’s responsibility is to stay on top of it,” Friend said. “We’re going to have something that’s long-lasting, and that’s what the ARB does, making sure we’re getting the best value for our dollar.”
Contact Mirror editor James Brooks at email@example.com.