Grand Avenue site progress

According to construction manager Findorff, work on the two new elementary schools in the Sun Prairie Area School District is proceeding on time and on budget. The site at Grand Avenue, shown here on Sept. 12, has all utilities completed and will have precast panels for gym walls going up this week. The site at Thompson Road will be a step behind the Grand Avenue site due to tough soils the contractor had to address before building on the site. The schools are slated to open in fall of 2018 for the 2018-19 school year.

The construction of two new elementary schools in the Sun Prairie Area School District is proceeding on schedule and on budget, according to the construction manager.

After receiving contractors’ bids for the project, the final budget came in .06 percent under the construction budget, Matt Premo of construction manager J.H. Findorff & Son Inc. said to the Sun Prairie School Board Sept. 11.

“We are right on budget for $89.5 million,” Premo said. “That is really good news overall.”

As of Monday’s update, concrete foundations and site utilities were complete at the Grand Avenue site, Premo said. Contractors plan to have the geothermal field completed and tested by Nov. 1, he said.

Structural steel is currently going up at both sites, and framing for exterior walls will begin in late September at Grand Avenue and in early October at Thompson Road, according to Premo. Additionally, precast panels for the gymnasium walls will start going up at both schools in the next two weeks.

At the Thompson Road site, water and sanitary utilities systems are complete but the storm water system just started construction, Premo said.

“Thompson Road will look like it’s a little behind, but there’s a reason for that,” Premo said. “In that area, we had some bad soils.”

He added that meant drilling 1,254 aggregate ground piers through the project foundation before building could begin.

One of the project’s next steps is to begin installing the roof starting Nov. 1 through the middle of December, Premo said. The goal is for the buildings to be fully enclosed by mid-January to allow work to begin on interior finishes such as drywall and paint, he said.

“The excellent news is construction is going, we’re on time, we’re on budget and we’re just moving along,” Premo said.

Other board action:

  • The Sun Prairie School Board approved Sept. 11 a resolution authorizing the district to temporarily borrow $17 million for immediate operating expenses. According to District Superintendent Brad Saron, compared to other districts of its size, the Sun Prairie Area School District holds a relatively low fund balance, which means that in between deposits from taxes or state aid the district has to borrow money for payroll. Business and Finance Director Phil Frei said the district historically borrows money for this purpose every fall, and the cost of borrowing is anticipated to be between $230,000-$250,000. 

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