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The bond project for Greater Albany Public Schools hit a milestone in March, according to the oversight committee that gave a presentation to the board during its April 22 meeting.

After 22 months, all of the major projects scheduled to use some of the $159 million bond have been designed, permitted and bid, and the recent groundbreaking at West Albany High School signaled a shift to construction.

GAPS is set to use the funds to construct two new elementary schools and perform site upgrades to existing schools that include constructing new outdoor classrooms, career technical education spaces, an auxiliary gym, theater upgrades and approximately 91,000 square feet of new space to West Albany High School.

“The laws of supply and demand, along with wildfires, hurricanes and a construction boom, have made the bidding of projects more challenging than we would have liked and/or anticipated,” committee chair Pat Eastman told the board. “On the other hand, with the financial forethought of the district along with the construction expertise of HMK, the bond statements and promises will be fulfilled.” HMK is the bond program manager and lead contractor.  

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Meadow Ridge Elementary School is set for owner occupancy on Dec. 6 of this year. According to the progress report given to the school board, crews are completing the structural framing and roofing in some areas of the school. A plan adopted by the school board earlier this month will see Meadow Ridge open for students in January 2020.

Exterior insulation and siding is going up at Oak Grove Elementary School as well as window frames and masonry wainscot. The roof trusses and metal decking in the gym and cafeteria have been installed and, according to the progress report, interior painting should begin in the coming days.

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South Albany High School, scheduled for a new auxiliary gym, theater upgrades, CTE classrooms, roof and restroom work, ran into scheduling issues after crews were faced with unforeseen conditions during excavation for the gym’s pad. According to the report, there were multiple changes to the site immediately following the original construction that were not included in the as-built documents from 1971. Several changes to the current construction had to be made and, as a result, the underground hydronics piping could not be ordered in time to meet spring break deadlines. According to the report, the school district opted to purchase material and perform the installation itself, a difference in cost of $30,000. The district also saved an additional $30,000 by switching from copper to aluminum wiring. The projects are expected to be completed in January 2020.

Other construction updates around the district included paving projects at six elementary schools, Calapooia Middle School, South Albany High School and the district office, as well as roofing projects at the community pool, the facilities building, Lafayette and North Albany elementary schools and the installation of an elevator at the three-story Central Elementary School.

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