Yuma-1 project moving ahead incrementally

Yuma School District-1’s $32 million renovation/expansion project continues to move forward incrementally.
An update was given during the Yuma-1 Board of Education’s regular monthly meeting, Monday night at district headquarters in downtown Yuma.

David Kurz of Neenan Archistruction participated via telephone, while Chad Rayl of owner’s representative Project One was in attendance, along with Superintendent Dianna Chrisman, and all the board members — Kim Langley, Lindsey Galles, Duane Brown, Thomas Holtorf and Dan Ross.
Kurz told the board the Yuma Middle School junior high wing, which is undergoing updates for items such as HVAC, new and more windows, and carpet, is scheduled to be turned over to the district by August 28, giving the teachers a tight timeframe in which to get their classrooms in order prior to the start of school the next week.
However, as of now, the remodeling work of the YMS service kitchen, will linger on after school starts, with an expected turnover date of September 23.
Ross later asked why that was the case, since he thought the kitchen work was ahead of schedule. He was told the later date has been part of the plans recently as COVID-19 restrictions have slowed down the overall process. He also was told that is the worst-case scenario, and eventually that timeline can be sped up. If not, the district has contingency plans in place, and Chrisman noted the district food service has a lot of experience now with preparing “grab-and-go” meals, following handing out free breakfast and lunches while school was shut down the last two months of the 2019-20 school year.
Per the YMS portion, it was noted holes are being punched out of the walls in the junior high wing where windows will be installed.
It was noted that mold had to be remediated in five the junior high classrooms as things were torn up, but the work has been done and tests sent to the proper authorities to make sure the mold is completely removed.

Over at Yuma High School, the compacting and the subgrade for the concrete pad for the auxiliary gym on the south end of the high school is nearing completion. Next up is digging out for the foundation. Work also is being done for a new boiler and utilities. The utilities under the current gravel parking lot on the west side are being moved so they are out of the way of the new wing that will include the main entrance, along with science and Career Technical Education classrooms, which includes the new ag education building at the far west end of the new wing.
Kurz shared floor plan drawings, along with exciting artists renditions of the new main entrance area. He also shared a rendering of a science room. Another one shared showed the current main hallway, which runs south from the restrooms at the west side of the school, highlighting breakout spaces and pods, which allow for open gatherings down the hallway while providing access to the math, social studies and language arts classrooms. Another drawing showed the senior locker room area between the remodeled classroom wing and the wing to the east that houses music and art.
Drawings will be available for viewing eventually on the YSD-1 project Facebook page, which the Pioneer will share on its Facebook page. The visuals are very enticing.
Improvements with the auditorium were not part of the original plan, but updating the HVAC for the auditorium was at the top of the district’s wish list, so Neenan has been looking at ways to getting into the project.
The board was told Neenan has $152,000 in credits it could go toward that work. Three options had been presented, including one that involved a complete new unit that also would entail structural work, such as new steel, that would cost about $20,000 above the $152,000. A third option would be rebuilding the existing HVAC without the need for structural work, with the cost coming in under the $152,000, at around $118,000. The first option would require the district making a decision right now, while the other would not require an immediate commitment.
The board later approved a motion going with the rebuilding option with the key wording of “if the budget allows.” A rebuilt HVAC at least would result in a more efficient unit for the auditorium than it has now.
In a related project action, the board approved installing new carpeting in the grades 5-6 wing at YMS, along with along with the hallway that goes to the main office area, and the main office are, for a cost of $38,000, so it can flow better with the upgrades in the junior high wing. Initially, the district had budgeted $125,000 for the carpet and new paint in those areas.
However, Chrisman reported Monday night it turns out that was a “huge overestimate.” The vote was 4-1 go ahead with the new carpet, with the understanding paint would be addressed later, but obviously well under the initial estimate. Holtorf cast the dissenting vote, after earlier in the meeting noting the district needed to show it was being as fiscally responsible as possible after benefitting from taxpayers approving the bond issue for nearly $16 million in the renovation/expansion project.
In one final project update, Kurz of Neenan said the hope is to have a “Gross Maximum Payment” (GMP) for the new wing at YHS in place by September 1. He said Neenan has submitted permits for that phase of the project, and is working closely with subcontractors in finalizing concrete numbers. He told the board that at this point, the hope is a special board meeting will be held August 31 to set the final GMP.