Liberty Hill ISD board of trustees awarded the first guaranteed maximum price contract for Elementary School No. 7 at $24.1 million at its April 17 meeting.

The first GMP contract serves as an early bid package that allows the work on the school to move forward and releases any long lead items such as mechanical and electrical equipment, Director of Construction Dustin Akin said at the meeting.

Included in this first package are general conditions such as concrete, structural steel, elevator, mechanical systems, electrical, earthwork and site utilities, Akin said. Bartlett Cocke General Contractors—which was selected as the project’s general contractor in October—is slated to conduct the work outlined in the contract.

Work on the Elementary School No. 7 project is funded by the LHISD 2021 bond program, and the GMP contract is included in the funding.

LHISD originally budgeted for the Elementary School No. 7 project to cost $39 million, but due to material costs and inflation, the price increased by $3 million. However, the total price of the project should not exceed $42 million, Akin said.

“We’re not saying $42 million is bad, but we’re saying it’s $3 million over what was projected,” Trustee Kendall Carter said. “We need to be more in line with our projected numbers moving forward ... we understand [it’s] not to exceed $42 [million], and you’ll come in under that. We’re looking for more of a $39 [million]-$40 [million] number than a $42 [million].”

The final GMP contract will be presented to the board at the meeting in May. Elementary School No. 7 is anticipated to open in August 2024.