Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Ask us anything

Where does the proposed bond amount come from?

Oregon Trail School District residents will vote this November on a bond for a new high school that will likely fall in the $110 million to $125 million range. John Weekes, an architect with Dull Olson Weekes Architects Inc., helped out in the math to determine the range and was happy to explain how they got to the final numbers.

Weekes first noted that the total price of the bond includes two different aspects: money for a proposed new high school and money for projects at every other school within the district.

Jim Seipel, facility operations supervisor for the district, reported that these projects contribute approximately $5 million toward the final cost of the bond. The district has identified approximately 400 total projects of varying needs at the schools, and Seipel noted that up to 15 percent of those would be covered by money in the bond.

The price tag on these projects was determined through estimated costs from contractors and vendors and by an analysis of recent historical data and similar projects by other districts.

Weekes offered a simple formula to outline the estimated cost of the proposed new high school: 'Quality + scope + schedule = cost.'

Quality concerns the materials and type of building to be constructed. Weekes noted that a big rectangular box with wood siding and flat roof would not cost the same as a rectangular box with a sloped roof and masonry siding.

Scope includes the classrooms, vocational/technical areas, offices and other spaces included in the high school, which is part of the overall square footage. The scope of the proposed new high school was determined last fall through a series of meetings. Costs for each room and function are based on historical data, input from people in the construction field and actual costs from recent new high school projects.

The schedule defines when the project is expected to be bid on and includes adjustment for inflation. If the bond passes in November, Weekes expects construction to begin in 2010.

Weekes also noted that the marketplace can be a factor in determining cost because in some areas contractors more aggressively pursue school projects than in others, and that certain wages for contractors vary throughout the state.

The final amount for the proposed bond is still in flux, Weekes added, and the Long Range Facility Task Force will review the estimated costs and identify possible savings.

'I would anticipate you would probably see some savings identified between now and the next board meeting,' Weekes said.

The next Oregon Trail School District board meeting is Monday, April 14, at Sandy City Hall, 39250 Pioneer Blvd.