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Marysville-Getchell High School construction on schedule, within budget

The Marysville-Getchell High School campus, seen from overhead, has been designed to coexist with the local ecology, by preserving as much of the surrounding trees and wetlands as possible, according to Jay Garthwaite, construction project manager for Marysville-Getchell. - Courtesy Photo
The Marysville-Getchell High School campus, seen from overhead, has been designed to coexist with the local ecology, by preserving as much of the surrounding trees and wetlands as possible, according to Jay Garthwaite, construction project manager for Marysville-Getchell.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville-Getchell High School remains on track to open in time for the 2010-2011 school year, as Doug Nichols and Jay Garthwaite reviewed the budget and schedule for the Marysville School District Board of Directors June 1.

Nichols, director of the Educational Service District 112 Construction Services Group, explained that the General Contractor/Construction Manager process being used for Marysville-Getchell is different from a lump-sum process, in that it breaks the process down into 45 different bid packages. He divided the total project cost into two categories — construction and non-construction-related costs.

Under the construction-related costs, Nichols outlined the Absher construction contract of $74.3 million, which is fixed by contract and variable only by change order. This total cost of construction includes the bid packages allowance and contingency of $2.9. million, which remains variable until August of 2009; the statutory contingency of $2.8 million, which is not legally adjustable until completion; and the support services allowances of $1.6 million, the major items of which have been spent, with Nichols expressing confidence that the remainder "seems sufficient."

The bid packages allowance and contingency covers work estimated but not yet bid out, such as landscaping, kitchen equipment and asphalt. This contingency is designed to cover volatility in a bidding environment, such as over- and underestimates. The statutory contingency is required by law to be carried for the duration of GC/CM projects, and is 5 percent of the contracted total. Support services allowances cover expected but variable site services, such as erosion control, sanitation and equipment rentals.

The non-construction-related costs total an estimated $18.3 million, but Nichols noted that this represents the "greatest area of variability," since single large items could shift the cost significantly. Nonetheless, he deemed the estimate "conservatively sufficient." These costs include architects, engineers, various consultants, permits and inspections, frontage improvements, city and county fees, project management, and furniture and equipment.

The original bond estimate was $79 million, and the state funding assistance available is $19.4 million, giving the project $98.4 million in total funds available. Nichols expressed confidence that the overall project can be delivered within the $92.6 million authorized by the Board.

Garthwaite, construction project manager for Marysville-Getchell, showed a series of photos from May, illustrating the progress of construction to date.

"We're in the 'red-iron' phase of construction right now, in that there's a lot of steel erection going on," Garthwaite said. "We've embedded the buildings in the ecology of the area, saving as much of the trees and the wetlands as we can."

Although the five buildings, each built 40 days apart, are being enveloped in "walls of steel," Garthwaite noted that there is "a significant concrete element in the core" of the buildings.

Garthwaite is confident that Marysville-Getchell will be completed in time to meet its currently scheduled opening in 2010, one year earlier than its originally scheduled opening.

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