Wake Ed

Wake County school construction projects on schedule

Wake County school administrators said Wednesday that construction projects are on schedule with some schools on tighter time frames than others.

Administrators briefed the school board’s facilities committee on both the active projects where construction work is taking place and those that will be bidded on later. Wake is working through the last projects from the 2006 bond program while beginning work on those funded from the bond issue approved last year.

Brian Conklin, Wake’s enior director of facilities, design and construction, said the two active projects of Apex Friendship High School and Richland Creek Elementary School are both on schedule.

Due to growth in that part of the county, Wake decided to “jump start” Richland Creek by opening the school early in 2012, housing the students at the modular campus at the DuBois Center in Wake Forest The permanent building is scheduled to open in August.

Conklin said that Apex Friendship High is also well within budget and very much on schedule

“I’m delighted to hear that everything is on schedule,” said school board member Susan Evans.

The next four new school projects, South Garner High, Scotts Ridge Elementary in Apex, Abbotts Creek Elementary in Raleigh and Pine Hollow Middle in Raleigh will be bidded on between now and June. But Conklin said those projects are on a tight schedule.

Abbotts Creek, located at the North Wake Landfill off Durant Road, has been proposed since the 1990s. Various issues have delayed the school over the years.

“Somebody needs to write a history of that school,” quipped school board chairwoman Christine Kushner.

Conklin said that they’re in the early design stages of Green Level High in Cary. He said they’re comfortable with the school’s schedule.

School board member Bill Fletcher asked for a clarification of how Green Level will be used as “swing space” for Apex High School.

Apex High is proposed to undergo a major renovation project that would last the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years. Funding for the construction isn’t there yet, likely dependent on being included in the next bond issue.

Conklin said the Apex High students would be at Green Level High for the 2017-18 school year.

In the 2018-19 school year, Apex High students would return to their campus while crews finish up the work. Once the Apex High students leave, Green Level would open with its own students.

Joe Desormeaux, assistant superintendent for facilities, said they pushed the opening of Green Level High back a year to line up with the Apex High renovations.

Also on Wednesday, staff briefed the board on a document that would lay out how the school system and county would work together on school construction. Desormeaux said most of the items in the collaboration document are already being done by school and county staff.

“It’s refreshing to hear what I think most of us have known for awhile that both staffs work exceedingly well,” said school board member Kevin Hill, chairman of the facilities committee.

The document will be presented to the Wake County Board of Commissioners on Monday and the school board on Tuesday.

Staff also gave an overview comparing the design build, construction manager at risk and single prime methods for school construction.