Elementary expansions move forward

In News by Reporter News

Needed repairs and costly maintenance is well under way at Pearland High, and the school district last Tuesday officially approved the cost of simultaneous renovations to Lawhon and Carleston elementaries.

Both elementary schools are set to be reconfigured and expanded to accommodate current needs, meaning more classroom and administrative spaces. Both will get a renovated entrance and drive area to alleviate traffic issues.

The board on Aug. 11 approved a guaranteed maximum price of an estimated $18.58 million for the renovations.

Work at Pearland High was begun after a recent facilities study identified a list of urgently needed repairs throughout the district, with the largest amount, approximately $20 million, at the aging high school, which was reportedly plagued with mechanical, electrical and plumbing issues.

The board last summer authorized the use of about $35 million in unsold bonds to address facility needs and furnish renovations to Lawhon and Carleston. The board expected at that time that the district would have to dip into its reserve fund balance. Additions and renovations at the two elementaries, along with the renovations at Pearland High, have a total projected cost of about $40 million.

“The guaranteed maximum price came in a little higher than what he had hoped when you take into effect soft costs, but when you combine that with the PHS project the bottom line for all three projects is approximately $4.633 million taken from the reserve of the general fund,” PISD Superintendent John Kelly said.

The Food Service Fund is contributing $1.1 million toward the expansion of the kitchen at Carleston.

Both elementary school renovations will be done in phases, with the entire scope of work expected to take about 14 months.

The next regular meeting of the school board is Sept. 8. Visit pearlandisd.org for details.

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