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Weston School makeover by June of 2015?

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POSTED September 17, 2013 11:18 p.m.

When construction finally begins on the voter-approved Measure G projects, Ripon Unified will go about on a lease-leaseback plan.

For starters, this design-build approach would allow for contractor CT Brayton & Sons of Escalon to hire its own subcontractors.

“Under lease-leaseback, you don’t have to accept the low bidders,” Superintendent Bill Draa said at Monday’s Citizens’ Oversight Committee meeting. “It’s who the contractor believes is best for the job.”

The completion of the work is often done on time and without change orders, taking out any of the headaches that may occur with any major project.

Weston School is the first on the list of the Measure G reconstruction projects over that of Colony Oak.

 “The reason is Weston is the older of the two school sites,” said Program Management Integration CEO Khushroo Gheyara. “We also need places where we can put the kids during construction.”

The hope still is for construction to begin at the end of this school year. But order to do so, the district will be under some tight timetables including the review of the plans by the Division of State Architect in Sacramento coupled with the Submittal of Eligibility and Funding Application to the Office of Public School Construction.

That four-month process is projected to take place from December through April.

The district would also seek other State Aid Program funding including modernization, new construction and joint use.

Colony Oak could be in line for modernization money while Weston appears eligible for new construction funds from the state.

Gheyara would like to see RUSD enter into joint-use partnership to construct project such as the proposed Multi-Use Room / gymnasium at Weston.

In addition, he said PMI – included is architect Tim Huff of Huff & Associates – will pursue the DSA’s High Performance Incentive and Prop 39 grants.

HPI eligibility is based on rating criteria on new construction and modernization school projects, according to Gheyara. In this case, the new Weston site plans would have to include attributes such as design and materials that promote energy and water efficiency, maximum use of natural lighting, incorporate the use of recycled materials, and improved indoor air quality, to name a few.

The Weston plan calls for reconfiguring the current Multi-Use Room to accommodate the school library, administration office, and a computer lab; the permanent classrooms would replace the portable ones, with the two kindergarten, based on the state code, being larger; and, of course, construction of a new gymnasium / Multi-Use Room.

Draa indicated that the new gym will be smaller than the one at Park View School. “In order to make it equivalent, it would take another $400,000,” he said.

Weston is budgeted at $10.4 million. Of that, $300,000 is stowed away as a contingency. “This would be for anything not programmed in the cost of construction,” said Gheyara.

Construction is estimated at $8.3 million. For CT Brayton, this would be the guaranteed maximum price based on the lease-leaseback, Gheyara added.

The committee is scheduled to meet again on Dec. 2. By then, Draa hopes to provide the group with a more detailed breakdown on the expenditure reports.

“I think it would benefit the committee’s needs,” he said.

If all goes accordingly, the work at Weston could be completed by July 2015.

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