A-Wing added to LAHS project

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State calls for smaller, more efficient facility

By Carol A. Clark

After reviewing educational specifications on the Los Alamos High School renovation project, the Public School Facilities Authority has directed district officials to include A-Wing in the planned demolition of B, C and D wings.

Pat McMurray from PSFA stated in follow-up correspondence to Los Alamos Public Schools Business Services Director John Wolfe, “I feel that the discussion we had about incorporating the demolition of A-Wing into the project, thereby reducing the overall square footage of your existing high school was definitely a step in the right direction.  As discussed, by reducing the existing square footage, and aligning the replacement square footage including the renovations and remodel work for a projected enrollment of 1,200 students, per the award language, the spaces within the facility will be better utilized and the operational cost (custodian, maintenance and utility cost) at $5 to $7 annually will be significantly reduced.”

McMurray went on to say that once the project’s scope of work is finalized and a guaranteed maximum price is set, PSFA will modify the current MACC to include the state’s share of the project as indicated in the award language.

“Unless something totally unexpected happens in this legislative session, we are confident that the state’s matching funds of 28 percent of the project’s cost will be available and will not delay the construction or affect the scope of the project,” McMurray said.

Two architects working on the high school project design presented options to the Los Alamos Board of Education during its regular meeting Tuesday evening in the district boardroom.

They explained that demolition and renovation activities will be done in phases and that the A-Wing will remain functional through the end of this school year.

They also informed board members that they are a month behind schedule because the PSFA included demolition of the A-Wing, which was not in the original plan.

“We are in the schematic design phase expected to be completed Feb. 25 to present to the state,” Art Tatum of ftb Architects said.

The following two months after that will be the design development phase, Tatum said, followed by a three month contract document phase.

At that time the architects and the district will host another community meeting.

The development process should be completed by July including the setting of a guaranteed maximum price.

Construction will likely begin sometime in July, Tatum said. The project allows for a 14 month construction time frame and should be entirely completed by about September 2011.

Rather than move students in the middle of the fall semester, he said they would likely wait until January 2012 to have students enter into new classrooms.

The architects took comments and suggestions from board members during Tuesday’s meeting to incorporate into updated plans.

LAPS first turned to the community for money to make major repairs to the schools in 1998. The 1998 bond election provided three new structures for students.

Since that time, bond money has addressed growing maintenance problems as school facilities age.

Los Alamos Middle School has received electrical upgrades and restroom renovations.

Both Aspen and Mountain elementary schools have received new gymnasiums.

Chamisa Elementary School has new air conditioning and Barranca Mesa has new boilers, heating units and new roofs.

Bond money also has provided for the removal and replacement of deteriorating pavement, electrical upgrades and student drop-off areas on both the primary and intermediate sides of the playground next to Grand Canyon.

For information on the current bond activities, access www.laschools.net.