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Trustees greenlight Phase 2 projects at February board meeting

District trustees voted at their February board meeting to approve the 23 Phase 2 construction projects and architects recommended by the superintendent and bond program leadership. The Phase 2 project list includes schools located in every trustee district with construction costs estimated at a total $275 million.

The projects were approved unanimously. The vote on the list of project architects was approved 7-2 following discussion about the need to stretch the $1.6 billion in bond funds by negotiating reductions in architect fees. Early on in the bond program, trustees approved a contract setting architect’s fees at six to 11 percent of project costs. Faced with rising construction costs and more needs than money, the board recently asked staff to work to renegotiate the fee structure.

Trustees Audrey Pinkerton and Dustin Marshall recommended the board delay approving the architects until after the negotiations. Other trustees said the delay would be costly and eat away at the bond program budget as construction costs continue to rise.

Operations Chief Scott Layne and bond program Executive Director Tim Strucely said the staff will continue to look at opportunities to realize savings on bond program construction costs.