By Katie Dahlstrom Herald Assistant Editor
The Clinton Herald
---- — CLINTON — The Clinton School Board approved three change orders for the new middle school during their meeting Monday night, bringing the contingency fund for the project to $160,000 less than where it was when construction started in the spring.
Board members approved two change orders that credited the contingency fund $35,012. The first was for $18,250 because mortar beds won’t be needed in several restrooms and the kitchen in the new school. The district saved $16,762 because portions of the roof insulation that were previously going to be glued with adhesive are now going to be fastened with screws.
Those savings were countered with a $95,000 change order due to poor soils under portions of the school. Terracon Consulting Engineers and Estes Construction performed a proof roll, which consists of running a fully-loaded dump truck across the dirt to visually inspect the strength of the soil.
“When there’s rutting over 2 to 3 inches, the they say ‘wait a minute, let’s not put your building on top of this dirt,’” Estes project manager Eric White told the board.
The rutting at the site was 4 to 10 inches. In turn, Terracon recommended replacing the 1 foot of dirt with limestone.
Board member Jack Wenzel said the nearly $100,000 price took him and other board members by surprise.
“I think we all got sore chins because they bounced off the table,” Wenzel said.
The change orders leave the contingency fund for the project at $236,000 compared to the $400,000 balance in March.
New board member Eric Gettes asked what happens if the contingency fund is entirely depleted.
“Then we have to make really tough decisions of do we do it or not,” board member Jim McGraw said, adding that he believes White knows where the district stands on future change orders.
The $21 million school at the corner of 13th Avenue North and 16th Street Northwest is slated to be complete in fall 2014.
Board members also approved the final payment for the eastbound turn lane into Eagle Heights Elementary School for $193,000. The total project cost was nearly $300,000.
The project dates back to 2006, but was delayed several years because the city of Clinton, school district and Iowa Department of Transportation could not come to a consensus on engineering documents.
Work on the turn lane started in May and was completed this fall.