The Burlington Area School District Board of Education unanimously authorized Scherrer Construction to start construction on the new Nettie Karcher Middle School Monday. The design plans include a wide-open commons area for the new Karcher Middle School.

School Board advances construction plans

By Jennifer Eisenbart

Correspondent

With fall temperatures and related weather issues fast approaching, the Burlington Area School District gave its official stamp of approval to start construction on the new incarnation of Nettie Karcher Middle School Monday night.

In a special meeting, the board unanimously approved allowing Scherrer Construction to start the construction phase of the project. The not-to-exceed price for the project remains at $32.7 million, though Scherrer representatives said Monday night they are hoping to continue to cut dollars from that number without dimishing quality.

A summary sheet was given out to board members, outlining the expected costs at this point.

The district is working toward a GMP — guaranteed maximum number — on the cost of the project, meaning that the budget from Scherrer reflects the top cost allowed in one of 16 different pieces of the total project cost.

Currently, the budget includes $28.05 million for construction and $1.46 million in architectural and design fees. Insurance, construction management services and bonds bring the total number up to the $32.7 million.

Those numbers could, in reality, end up being less because parts of the structure and engineering are still fluid.

“I think it’s a full number, and I think it’s a full representation of where things will come in,” said Ben Templin, of Scherrer Construction. He stressed that he felt there shouldn’t be “too many surprises” at this point in the process.

“I think we’re at a point where we can rely on this budget,” Templin said.

With the unanimous approval, construction will begin in the next week.

An official groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16.

Superintendent Steve Plank said the event involves a presentation of about 20 to 30 minutes followed by the official ceremony.

Architectural designs will be on display at that event as well.

“We want people to be excited and celebrate with us,” Plank said.

To read the full story see the Oct. 10 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.