Assistant Supt. John Lavelle gives an update on the Stagg High School expansion project at the Feb. 23 District 230 meeting. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Assistant Supt. John Lavelle gives an update on the Stagg High School expansion project at the Feb. 23 District 230 meeting. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Price tag for Stagg expansion grows to $15 million

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By Jeff Vorva

The Stagg High School expansion project has a heftier price tag than originally thought.

Consolidated High School District 230 officials were bracing for the project to cost roughly $12.5 million.

At the Feb. 23 board meeting at Andrew High School, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services John Lavelle told the board that now it’s going to cost approximately $15 million.

“The bids are a little higher than we hoped,” he said. “We did expect them to be high just because as we were going through this process, we saw the costs accelerating a little bit with the shortage in labor and the supply shortages.”

Despite the higher price, Lavelle is confident the district will be able to make this work.

“We’re looking for ways to save some money,” Lavelle said. “The plan called for utilities that would have to be excavated and removed. But they can fill those and not have to remove them and save 20 grand.

“There are things like that which add up to about $100,000 in savings that we have identified so far. And there are other opportunities for saving once we look at all of the prices.”

He added that levy adjustments and the interest on bonds and other sources can help get them to close to where they want to be.

The board was slated to host a special meeting Wednesday, March 8, with contractors for more dialogue and possibly awarding a bid.

“Those efforts would bring us up to the amount we need,” Lavelle said. “It’s our hope that between now and our meeting on the 8th that we will have more detail and have more conversations with our contractor.”

He said that there was $700,000 of contingency funding that may or may not all be used. Any of the leftover contingency money would help offset the price hike.

There are two phases to the project and it can possibly be completed by the summer of 2025.

According to the district, the first phase is the south two-story addition, which will have eight classrooms on the first floor and two science classrooms and an office on the second floor and there will be a roof area that can be used.

Officials are crossing their fingers that can be started in June and completed in January. There is a possibility that area can be in use shortly thereafter.

The second phase will be on the north side of the school and would feature three classrooms on the first floor, a teachers’ workspace and six offices. The second floor will have a classroom, two science classrooms and an office.

That construction could start in the summer of 2024 and wrap up in 2025.

Bus bids

The board took care of bus contracts for the next three school years.

For regular education, Sandburg will be serviced by Positive Connections, Stagg will be serviced by Rich Lee Vans and Andrew will be serviced by Safeway Transportation.

For special education, Sandburg and Andrew will be serviced by ABC and Stagg by Sunrise Transportation.

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