$11.6 million Highland Park Elementary upgrade approved

Published 12:36 am Wednesday, March 23, 2022

NEDERLAND — The maximum price for a renovated and reconstructed Highland Park is set, clearing the way for action at the Nederland elementary school.

With a max price agreed to, Nederland Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Stuart Kieschnick and staff are working with construction manager H.B. Neild & Sons for delivery and final costs on the project.

Passed in Spring of 2019, school district voters approved more than $150 million in building and technology improvements that will eventually touch every aspect of the Nederland Independent School District.

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Present school board members voted unanimously Monday to set the Highland price at $11,638,435.

The move allows H.B. Neild leaders to begin issuing contracts, locking in prices and scheduling workers on site.

“Any cost savings we can find along the way, we’ll also capture those,” Project Manager Ira Bean said. “At the end of the project, we’ll give those remaining dollars back to the district. We haven’t stopped looking for cost savings in any direction we can turn.”

Bean said a positive sign of a more active marketplace was the recent bid from a contractor that had not done so in ten years.

He noted there remains uncertainties in the global supply chain.

“I thought we were doing pretty good with price decline, and then the war (in Ukraine) happened,” Bean said. “Now, we’re back to fuel being the biggest thing. We’re seeing a lot fuel increases. It’s high, but hopefully it’s stabilizing.”

Work has already begun at the Langham and Hillcrest elementary campuses, leaving the Helena campus as the last elementary needing to secure an official go-ahead, which expected soon.

Letters of intent for supplies and equipment are forthcoming, Bean said, so constructions costs can be determined.