School Board Finalizes Several Building Projects

Posted at: 10/31/2012 5:43 PM
Updated at: 10/31/2012 5:44 PM
By: Gordon Severson

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Five years ago Rochester Public Schools decided to do an extensive assessment on all of their buildings.

During Tuesday night's school board meeting they approved a handful of those projects.

"We're going to do Jefferson. We're going to split that into two phases," Coordinator of Design and Construction James Kelly says.

The Jefferson renovation is one of five projects costing $17 million, that the district will work on over the next two Summers.

Other projects include an update to Kellogg Middle School's kitchen, and a new boiler for Fowlwell Elementary.

"It's mostly focusing on air quality improvement," Kelly explains.

However, the biggest project is moving Golden Hill, a school built back in the 1940's, to the vacant Rochester Market Square building.

"We're purchasing it for about $34 a square foot including the land. That's a great buy. If we were to rebuild that building to fit our needs we'd be spending about $210 to $215 a square foot," says Kelly.

The Rochester Market Square building is about 2.5 miles South of Golden Hill Alternative Learning Center.

It's a little further away from the center of town, but school administrators say it's a newer building that is built to last and also gives them more space to work with.

"It’s about 20,000 square feet bigger,” Kelly says.

The building itself was purchased for $2.1 million.

There's also an additional $350,000 for design costs and $6.2 million for renovations.

If they decided to keep Golden Hill it would cost over $4 million just to renovate it and another $5 million to expand.

So going with the new site saves the district a million dollars.

"I think we're being very fiscally responsible by not sticking money into the Golden Hill project," Kelly explains.

The Rochester School Board still has to finalize the design and renovation budget for the project.
They'll likely vote on that during their next meeting.
That meeting will be open to the public.