Cassville Intermediate school renovations may change

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Pictured at left is the Cassville Intermediate School lower level hallway, where work began this week to repair flood damage, pictured at right, that occurred in December 2015. The total project cost is about $1.49 million, with insurance covering 70-75 percent of repairs, and the district paying the rest for mitigation. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Cassville board to consider project adjustments in March

The Cassville school district has approved a $1.49 million plan to renovate the lower level of Cassville Intermediate School, but second looks at the project may bring some changes in the next month.

A total of 10 rooms, including six fifth-grade classrooms, an English Language Learners classroom and the nurse's office, have been displaced in the building due to flooding in December 2015.

The original bid, awarded to Construction Services Group, of Neosho, came in at $1,564,168.50. Anderson Engineering is serving as the project engineer, and Paragon Architecture is serving as the architectural firm. Both have been working on the project since the flooding occurred.

The project sets out to accomplish two goals to repair damage and to mitigate future incidents.

Richard Asbill, Cassville superintendent, said insurance money will pay for only the repairs, anticipated to be about 70-75 percent of the total cost, and the district will be on the hook for all mitigation costs.

Major mitigation measures include, as the project bid currently stands, adding a 38-foot well outside the building to capture ground water during a flooding event. To further mitigate floodwaters entering the building, the district has options to add second and third wells, with Asbill supporting the latter.

"Adding a well would cost another $240,000, but because they are add-ons, that could possibly lead to some cost savings," Asbill said. "The contractor will need to evaluate that."

The district is also considering adding a 36- or 48-inch drain pipe to help water exit the well and prevent damage to the building. Cost estimates for that are about $80,000 to $100,000.

If that pipe is added, the district could eliminate a pressurized line, a value of $101,000, as it would not be necessary to prevent flooding. Facilities and Operations Director Dusty Reid said if the drain pipe and extra wells are added, they would act as emergency overflow, and the pressurized line would not be needed.

"The board has been unanimous in its approval to repair the building, and also to prioritize mitigation," Asbill said. "We want to make this building an investment for the future and make sure this does not occur again."

The plan calls for multiple bores under the building, which daylight on the east side of the building, go past the football field and direct water into flat creek. The bores are tied into a large French drain, a perforated pipe surrounded in clean rock, under the slab of the building. The bores and French drain are also connected to sump pits for what Reid said is triple redundancy. All pumps are also connected to a backup generator, he said.

"If any one of those fail, the others will pick up the slack," he said. "In addition, the wells are 40 feet deep and 8 feet wide, which collect ground water as it rises to the slab and exits the building."

The bores will go under the east parking lot and football field, and Reid said the only way the practice field would flood is possibly during a high-rain event where other parts of Cassville flood.

Work on the project began on Monday, and Reid said it is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 1, allowing the classrooms to return to their original homes in the fall. The six fifth-grade classes have been relocated to the vintage wing of the middle school, and the ELL class and nurse's office were moved upstairs.

"Most of the noisy work will be done during the summer, when classes are not in session, and the extra loud parts will be done at night," Reid said. "Also, all the equipment that will be used inside the building is rated by the EPA for internal use and have zero emissions."

In February, the Cassville school board went over the well and pressurized line options, which the plan to vote on in March, and they also approved other change orders eliminating about $65,000 from the total project's cost.

In the agreement were three slab options, of which the district only needed one. There were also two piping prices included, allowing the district to approve dropping the 8-inch pipe and going with a 12-inch.

Funding for the district's costs in the project will come from its capital projects fund, also known as Fund 4. Subtracting the anticipated insurance reimbursements, the district is expected to pay about $350,000 to $450,000 on mitigation. The balance in Fund 4 sits at about $2.8 million.

Asbill said the district has also asked for additional funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but has yet to receive notification on the application.

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