The Shorewood School Board on Jan. 27 approved changes to a proposed renovation of the Shorewood High School physical education building.
The changes were made to bring the project within the range of initial cost projections.
The remodeling project was part of a $9.65 million referendum approved in April. Of that, $2.6 million was earmarked for remodeling the gym. Lockers are being added along with classrooms in new areas.
Design changes by contracted firms Eppstein Uhen Architects and J.P. Cullen & Sons involving a proposed hallway and enhancements to the second floor of the building have brought proposed costs to $2.75 million.
"I am recommending that we move ahead with this project," Superintendent Blane McCann said. "I believe that we have created a project that is very close to our budgeted amount and also very close to our original design expectations."
The $150,000 difference will come out of the operating budget.
The board gave McCann and district foreman Al Thien the authority to tap into an additional $140,000 in contingency money if there are unexpected expenses.
In August, district staff reported the renovations could wind up costing $3.4 million - $800,000 more than anticipated - because of unexpected costs associated with asbestos removal and upgrades to the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning unit and sprinklers in the building. Inflation also was blamed for the increase.
In December, the project was over budget about $600,000 to $700,000.
While there was support for moving forward with the project and keeping costs in line with original projections, the board also expressed a desire not to cut unnecessary corners on the remodeling.
"If we're doing all this, we should wind up with something better than what it was," board member Nancy Bornstein said.
Ready for fall sports
Bids are due Thursday, Feb. 26. A construction contractor should be selected shortly thereafter.
Demolition work within the existing building is expected this month, and the project is slated for completion in August, before the fall sports season kicks off.
Other projects covered by the referendum include districtwide maintenance, technology upgrades, high school library remodeling and green space improvements at Atwater and Lake Bluff elementary schools. Some of the projects are under way, while others will be pursued within the next several years.
Dave Fidlin can be reached at (262) 446-6603.
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