The Lufkin ISD Board of Trustees discussed updates to the bond project during its regular work session Tuesday.

Stephen Berry with Berry & Clay Construction, construction manager for the multipurpose facility and the middle school projects, discussed a potential guaranteed maximum price for the multipurpose facility.

The anticipated price was $215 per square foot. However, thanks to quite a few bids that came in, the price came out to $208.14, he said.

The original square footage was set at 45,000, but the current total is 65,200 square feet. Berry said that after he spoke with those who would be using it, the additional space was determined necessary to properly serve students.

“The building is actually 20,000 square feet bigger than the bond, but that was more or less because we added an auxiliary gym to the back and we increased it so we could have cross court,” Berry said. “These were all things that the district as a group felt was best for the overall use of the facility.”

Superintendent Lynn Torres and several board members commented, pointing out the need and thanking the company for approaching the building plans in the way they did.

“I don’t think people realize how gym-short we actually are currently at the high school with just the purple and the gold gym and having to run adaptive P.E., P.E. classes, drill team, cheerleading and so forth,” Torres said. “This actually puts us in a better position.”

“We’re gym poor, and from a functionality standpoint, our high school doesn’t operate well, and won’t, for game nights, especially tournaments, if we don’t do the facility in the way it’s designed now,” trustee Hall Henderson said.

The design process began by asking all involved for everything in their wildest dreams. That resulted in a design that was 99,000 square feet. Then the designers scaled back and scaled back until they couldn’t scale anymore unless they wanted to take away from the students’ experience, Berry said.

“I appreciate the fact that ya’ll went to the people who were going to be using it and said, what’s your wildest dream?” member Allison Langston said. “Now let’s edit that dream to what we need to have, functionally, to make this work for our students and our coaches and everybody involved.”

The total price of the project comes out to $13.6 million. Local companies will receive $3.8 million for their work on the project.

Board president Scott Skelton asked how they stood on the plans for the middle school so they could better make a decision on the multipurpose facility. Berry said they anticipate being finished with plans on the middle school in late January, and that will allow them to achieve a guaranteed maximum price in February.

“I would like to see us breaking ground the first of March,” Berry said. “Other than some calamity, I foresee the middle school will come within budget, and if it doesn’t, we will get it there.”

The projected square footage on the middle school was 217,000. The current plans are 217,500 square feet. The budgeted price per square feet was $187.50 for new construction, $68 for renovated construction and $9 for demolition.

The board did not discuss a guaranteed maximum price for the baseball, softball and tennis facilities.

The board also discussed several purchases of more than $50,000 that will need approval. Those purchases include:

■ $65,000 to Arbiter Sports for UIL services

■ $96,800 to Tipton Ford for Explorers for police vehicles

■ $157,000 to Tipton Ford for seven maintenance vehicles

■ $74,000 for the Edgenuity state license for secondary campuses

■ $103,000 for the Region VII Education Service contract

No decisions were made during the work session. All action will be taken at the regular meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Grace Juarez’s email address is grace.juarez@lufkindailynews.com.

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