School board  OKs reducing size of CTE building

Skills USA students from Huntsville High School address the Huntsville School Board.

Reducing the size of a Career and Technical Education building Huntsville by 1,283 square feet and removing a restroom would save the Huntsville School District about $175,000, the school board heard during its regular monthly meeting on Monday.

Reducing the size 1,283 feet would save $145,000, with the removing of one restroom bringing more than $28,000 in savings.

Last month the board was told by its contractors that the cost of the CTE building was more than $500,000 higher than originally planned. Personnel from C.R. Crawford in Fayetteville said changing prices were “part of a process.”

Superintendent Dennis Fisher on Monday presented two options to the board for the proposed reduction in overall size of the CTE buildings. After getting a final opinion by Huntsville High Principal Roxanne Enix, Fisher was to meet with architects and contractors Tuesday morning.

“It’s not going to take anything away other than just some square footage, which will be on the north end of that building,” Fisher told the board.

Madison County voters in May approved a 3.9-mill increase for the school district. The increase will raise the district’s millage rate to 36 mills and will fund an activities center, two CTE facilities and new heating and air conditioning units for the St. Paul and Charles H. Berry Gymnasiums.

Phil Jones of C.R. Crawford Construction originally said the project cost for the two CTE buildings, activities building and the HVAC projects would be about $13-14 million.

The original cost estimate for both CTE buildings on Jan. 30 was $3,788,460. On Oct. 11, the estimate was $4,307,905, an increase of $519,445.

The new estimates include $2,821,215 for the Huntsville CTE building and $1,486,690 for St. Paul.

The facility in St. Paul is scheduled to be 8,414 square feet, with the Huntsville building 20,988 square feet, according to Ryan Noble, project estimator at C.R. Crawford.

Noble last month presented a list of things that could be changed in the Huntsville CTE building to save money. They include removing concrete benches to add bollards; removing Steni wall panels and using generic wall material; reducing the storefront; reducing sun shades, and using sealed concrete instead of special tile.

Those five items would save $206,769 on the project, Noble said.

Board President Danny Thomas on Monday said, “We don’t want wasted space for sure. We want adequate space, but we don’t want wasted space. If it’s something that we feel like is a little bit overkill and is going to save $150,000 dollars, then we should back up.”

Any changes to the architectural plans must be approved by the state, Thomas said.

In other business:

• Fisher said enrollment in grades kindergarten through 12 was 2,234, which is down three students since Oct. 1. There are 70 students in pre-kindergarten, including 10 in St. Paul.

• Fisher told the board that revenue is up about $17,000 and expenditures are up about $33,000. Tax revenue is up about $55,000 while foundation funding is down about $17,000, he said.

• The board approved a proposed budget of expenditures for July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022.

• The board approved the resignations of Patricia Pierce and Pamela Burks from Transportation, along with Intermediate School media specialist Courtney Spurlock and Halli Ceola, child nutrition director.

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