Changes to construction plans for Manhattan High School’s west campus will add 25 classrooms, but current cost estimates exceed the construction budget by about $2.8 million, the design team said Wednesday.
The Manhattan-Ogden school board heard about the new construction plan that will add the classrooms to the east ends of D and E halls instead of demolishing part of A hall on the building’s south end. The new construction will create a third courtyard at the school and better allow school administrators to group classrooms by subject, officials said.
On the building’s west end, a new storm-rated, multipurpose gym space and a wrestling room will be part of a new athletics entrance.
Officials said it will help parents and visitors better navigate the school, and the entrance could also serve as a new parent drop-off and pick-up point as part of a road that will circle the building.
The entrance also will serve as a pathway between the building and the school’s tennis courts and the planned synthetic turf practice field.
While the project will build onto existing halls, the new space will have modern designs that use classrooms and hallways in ways that better reflect the needs of students and teachers, Adam Sterns, principal architect with Gould Evans, said.
In his presentation, Sterns said the design team opts for open hallway spaces instead of lockers, creating a front-porch atmosphere for students to use outside of the classrooms.
Right now, officials roughly estimate the project as presented would cost $28.1 million, which is over the construction budget by $2.8 million. The construction, design and district team said there is about $1.3 million in immediate cost-saving measures. District officials said they’ll work on whittling down the remaining $1.5 million overage.
Eric Reid, assistant superintendent, said it’s possible that as the district finalizes plans for other district buildings, they’ll find funds to transfer to the high school project.
In other business, Reid presented the board with a report on district transfers.
As of this week, the district had approved 278 out of 317 in-district transfer requests from parents, in addition to 16 forced transfers, for its elementary schools. He said the district has to be careful about transferring students between schools that are at or near limits on students per classroom.
The district approved 119 requests to transfer into the district across K-12 and denied 26 requests.
In any case, Reid said the district’s request approval rate for elementary schools, 88%, was on par with recent years. Reid emphasized that transfer numbers fluctuate throughout the school year as the district processes additional transfers.