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Joel Klahn, senior project executive for Leopardo Construction Co., speaks Wednesday at Hall High School during a meeting about the new school plans and bidding to a group of local contractors. Klahn said more than 60 people have expressed interest in working on the project.
The Hall High School board unanimously passed a design layout for the district’s new school building even though expected construction costs are over budget. At a special meeting Wednesday, Dave Patton, architect from Healy, Bender & Associates Inc., Naperville, said the construction for the design is $28.1 million while the board’s budget for the project was $27.9 million for construction. In order to reduce costs, Patton said they have already cut extra canopies to the building, reduced extra blazing and eliminated one separate lobby entrance. They also cut a geothermal unit from the plan, he said. Instead, Patton said they are looking at alternative high efficiency systems to save the district money. “We are trying to receive the save energy savings compared to the geothermal unit,” he said. Even though the geothermal unit was cut from the plan, Patton said the district still could reach a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design gold or silver rating. The high efficiency energy system could help the district reach this rating, which may lead to additional grant money. After the special board meeting, Healy, Bender & Associates and Leopardo Construction hosted an open house to encourage local contractors to bid for the high school project. The construction managers said they would be able to have more then 50 bids available for contractors. Contractors were not required to attend the open house, but Leopardo Construction has already received 60 emails and calls from contractors interested in the project. The project is expected to be put to bid this fall, while the main building is planned to be completed Spring 2015, and site completed by August and September that year. The projected building will be 130,000 square feet with three-stories. After the April election and a subsequent challenge, a referendum raising taxes to pay for the school was approved 1,717-1,714.