Budget for Valley High School Project revised

On March 26, 2012, the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education adopted a revised budget for the Valley High School renovation project. The new total project budget is $66.4 million. This is a $3.8 million increase over the $62.6 million budget approved by the board in December 2010.

The increased total budget allows the district to maintain several key features of the new auditorium and renovated fine arts wing in Phase 3, but also reflects modifications made to reduce some costs in these areas.

The district requested bids – or prices – from companies for work on Phase 3 in the fall of 2011. These bids came in nearly $9 million over budget. Construction consultants and the district administration and staff have been working for the last several months to review the project, its costs and companies’ responses to the requested bids.

On February 27, 2012, the district administration provided the board with results of this review and recommendations to reduce the gap between the estimated cost of Phase 3 and its budget, yet maintain a quality design for a high school auditorium. Phase 3 is now estimated to cost approximately $26.9 million, an increase of $3.8 million.

The budget approved by the board on March 26 includes the administration’s recommendations for Phase 3, which will feature the following:

  • Seating for approximately 1,140
  • An orchestra pit, which is positioned in front and below the stage for the orchestra to play for such productions as musicals.
  • A trap room, which is a space under the stage that allows scenery and actors to emerge and disappear from the stage.
  • Four catwalks, which are elevated walkways from which many of the technical functions of a theatre, such as lighting and sound, may be manipulated.
  • A stage house nearly 60 feet tall.

The approved recommendations also include paving the new southeast parking lot at Valley High School.

The total project will be funded through sales tax revenue, a FEMA grant and fundraising. Money saved on current low interest rates on bonds will cover the $3.8 million budget increase. A portion of the funds that would have gone toward interest costs will be reallocated to project expenses.

For more information on the project and for regular updates, please visit https://www.wdmcs.org/district/construction/valley_2011/.

Other Action Items

During the March 26 meeting, the board also took the following action:

  • set a hearing on April 9, 2012, at 7 pm, in the Learning Resource Center regarding a proposal to convey land to MidAmerican Energy Company  for $1 for the purpose of an underground electric easement;
  • held an executive session as provided in section 21.5 (1) (e) of the open meetings law to consider whether to expel a student; reconvened into regular session; voted to expel a student through the end of the second semester of the 2011-12 school year.

Above is an informal summary of the actions of the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education at recent meetings. This is provided as a service to district staff and the public. This is not the official minutes of the board meeting, but a quick rundown of action taken, not necessarily in chronological order. Official board minutes must be approved by the board per Policy 212.1 and then are posted on our website (www.wdmcs.org).