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Prairie Grove School District 46 to move forward with facility upgrades

The Prairie Grove School District 46 Board voted Tuesday night to move forward with a plan to upgrade portions of the grade school building.

The board unanimously voted for a $430,700 contract with Chicago-based firm CannonDesign. The firm will create a proposal for architectural and engineering services for summer 2019.

The firm’s services include schematic design, design development, construction documents, bidding and construction administration. The firm assumes the district will hire a construction manager, according to board documents.

Among the base projects to be designed and later bid on are the “must-do” health and safety improvements, and the “need-to-do,” such as creating one centralized library for both the elementary and middle schools and new family/consumer science and science, technology, engineering and math spaces in the middle school library. The estimated cost for the “base” projects is $2.7 million.

Two “alternate scope” projects – which would add air conditioning in the elementary school and a single-point entry for both schools – also were included in plans. The estimated cost would be $775,000.

The actual costs for the construction work will come after the project goes out to bid early next year.

“We want to try to do as many of these projects next summer in 2019 as possible,” said Superintendent John Bute, adding that CannonDesign will not get the full $430,700 if the projects do not come to fruition.

“There are parts of the project that we are required by law to do. There are health and life-safety findings that were done in a 10-year public safety audit of public schools,” he said. “There were some things that were discovered that aren’t current and need to be up to code. We absolutely will be doing those projects. ... Most of these are things you wouldn’t necessarily see: electrical work, mechanicals, plumbing.”

Bute also said adding air conditioning in the elementary school building has been a long time coming. The school, 3225 Route 176, has about
700 students.

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