Keeping everyone updated on the Bond projects has been extremely challenging due to the many permitting delays by TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality), which has resulted in delayed City permits. TCEQ has delayed the completion of the Band Hall by over 100 days, HS renovations by 60 days (they have estimated the HS renovations will be completed, minus band hall, by 8/1/2014), the BB/SB and Transportation facility by 90 days and the Bowen Admin Facility by another 60 days. Page 4 is an estimated list of completion dates.
Another major concern and challenge was to bring the total Bond budget, back in line with the voter approved amount of $24.5 million. During the Bond development phase we received estimated costs about 16 months ago, but as to date, the actual bids came in at a total cost of ~ $27.7 million ($3.2 million over budget). Therefore, we have spent the past 14 months, “value-engineering (VE)” or cutting costs, across several projects. Following are the projects we primarily focused on for value engineering and/or re-bidding of the entire project:
- Fieldhouse: We reduced the building by 2000 sf., replaced tile/carpet in some areas, to sealed concrete and reduced some stone exterior features
- Band Practice Facility: We moved the facility from behind the HS to the old baseball field, due to extensive water treatment and detention costs, ADA improvements and a large concrete stairway, with an ADA ramp to the practice area.
- Bowen Prof. Dev. Center, Board Room and Administrative Offices: Our initial plan was to build on about 3000 sf. to the existing Annex building and renovate some of the front interior for office space, leaving about 5000 sf. for District storage. To cut cost we are now excluding the 3000sf addition and moving the entire facility into the Annex by reducing the overall office space and Board Room square footage. This still leaves about 1500 sf. for storage. This entire project was re-bid resulting in substantial savings.
- Band Hall: No VE, projects remains as planned
- ennis Courts: No VE, projects remains as planned
- Baseball/Softball Complex: A girl’s dressing room was added, along with larger dugouts and batting cages for both fields. The 20’X20’ pavilion was deleted. Other enhancements were also made.
- Transportation Facility: We reduced total building square footage by ~ 800 sf. and reduced from two wash bays to one.
- High School Renovations: No VE, projects remains as planned
- Danforth Renovations: No VE, projects remains as planned
- District Security and Phone Systems: No VE, projects remains as planned
- Technology: No VE, projects remains as planned
Now to address the most recent concern about the removal of the tree in front of the FB Stadium. This is a small snapshot of the process we went through when discussing the location and footprint of the Fieldhouse around the stadium; especially as it related to the removal of any trees. Tress were a major consideration throughout this process! As you read our Architect’s email below, you will also notice we went through the same process with all projects. Key issues/points of considerations during the planning of all projects are listed below.
- Trees (Removal and re-planting more trees than removed)
- Water treatment per City Code
- Water detention per City Code
- Excavation….Site work (COST) ….depth of earth cuts due to differing elevations throughout the District facilities; especially the Fieldhouse
- Parking as per City Code (including shaded parking)
- Water usage for landscaping
- Fire Protection (pressure from existing fire hydrants at required gallons/minute standards and possible water storage if not to code)
As stated by O’Connell Robertson (WISD Architects); “In developing the WISD 2013 Bond Projects our team was challenged to design solutions meeting the District’s programmatic goals as well as state and other code requirements. When crafting these solution, our team has made every effort to minimize impact on the District’s current operations, maximize design functionality, and create sustainable opportunities. I would note the following items we have realized during the design and construction phases of the project supporting the best sustainable practices.1. Code and City Requirements – At all projects, our team must implement design in compliance with building, fire, city, and state codes. Some of these requirements which impact impervious coverage are: a. Number of Parking Stalls – City of Wimberley requires 1,166 parking stalls to meet city zoning requirements b. Buildings must have 20’ fire lanes to access all parts of the building c. Storm water is treated on-site removing debris and silt prior to being released off the property. 2. The multi-purpose building was programmed at 24,000 sf. With the evaluation of the program during the design phase, the building was able to be reduced by over 2,000 sf minimizing the impact to the large grove of trees located west of the building. 3. The multipurpose building was located as close to the existing track and field to minimize impacts of the adjacent vegetated and parking areas. 4. For multiple locations on the projects, we have implemented storm water management systems required by TCEQ. In several cases our team has challenged the requirement for these features by showing minimal impact to the surrounding environment or implementing a below-ground solution minimizing the impact of the natural landscape. 5. The WISD bond program includes the installation of artificial turf at the baseball and softball fields negating the need to irrigate over 175,000 sf of turf. 6. The design includes landscape improvements in a xeriscape concept which includes 75 trees and 400 shrubs. 7. As a cost savings measure, the Band Practice Field was relocated to the location of the existing baseball field negating the extensive grading and tree removal required at the high school site. 8. In reviewing the design with the contractor, it was determined that we can save the tree in parking lot located north of the multi-purpose facility. 9. The contractor has procured the services of Austin Wood Recycling to harvest all vegetation of the site turning it into mulch. 10. Many other elements within the projects were consciously selected for their environmental impact including low-VOC paints and sealants, energy-efficient HVAC systems, and low-flow plumbing fixtures. Please let me know if you need additional information on them.”
The bottom line is that demolition and construction has finally begun and I am very optimistic that the attached estimated construction completion dates will be moved back by several weeks. This list is worst case scenario.
I apologize once again for the delay in reporting Bond progress; however, by the time I had drafted an update….most dates had already changed and several projects were still over budget or being re-designed for cost savings.
Thanks for your patience….
Superintendent, Wimberley ISD