Office redesign of Nederland elementary schools approved

Published 12:30 am Thursday, October 21, 2021

NEDERLAND — New construction and renovations for Nederland elementary campuses got closer to action following unanimous approval to office space design modifications across the four campuses.

The Nederland Independent School District Board of Trustees heard from construction partners this week and approved the design and timelines as presented.

Drawings for Langham Elementary will be released next week, and proposals must be received by Nov. 16. The information will be presented to the school board Dec. 13 with a timeline to start construction in January and complete construction by April of 2023.

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A staggered start for the other three campuses begins with drawings releases for Hillcrest Dec. 2, Highland Park Jan. 24 and Helena Park March 7.

Construction is set to be complete at the three schools in May of 2023, June of 2023 and August of 2023, respectively.

Superintendent Dr. Stuart Kieschnick told school board members that timeline discussions have taken place and everyone is on schedule.

“We expect to make that deadline,” he said.

Keeping renovations and upgrades for the elementary campuses within the $49.1 million budget approved by voters is an important step in the design process.

Maintaining the deadline has been an increasing challenge due to global supply line issues felt in Nederland, putting greater emphasis on communication between architectural firm IBI, construction supervisor H.B. Neild & Sons and the school district.

Project Manager Ira Bean told school board members that H.B. Neild & Sons is buying as much material as possible regardless of the use timelines in an effort to stay ahead of the demand curve.

More construction

Bulldog Stadium Phase Two, including work on the entryway, ticket booth, restrooms and flatwork, is projected for completion in the Summer of 2022.

The middle school projects are in the schematic design phase with construction timelines to follow.

Dirt and foundation preparation is ongoing for a new high school. Construction is scheduled to finish in July of 2023, which allows the new high school to begin serving students during the 2023-24 academic year.

Supply chain

Child Nutrition Director René Bodden told school board members that supply chain concerns are impacting food trays and utensils, sometimes leaving the department scrambling from one vendor to the next.

The lack of some available foods and ingredients, Bodden said, has led to a reduction in federal requirements on what is included in each meal.

Similar concerns were expressed by maintenance department when it came to repairing or replacing equipment

“Our maintenance and child nutrition teams are working diligently to make sure we continue to provide top-notch services to our school community,” Kieschnick told Port Arthur Newsmedia following the meeting. “The lack of products in certain areas is not something I have experienced throughout my time in education, but neither was a global pandemic. While we know it isn’t over, we feel confident in the efforts we have taken to make it through. Our team is working on solutions and looking ahead to stay in front of potential issues every day.”