Work will begin this week on Hutto ISD’s upcoming ninth-grade center—the district’s newest school—after the first of multiple construction bids was awarded last week.
The Hutto ISD board of trustees voted Feb. 14 to approve a $16.65 million guaranteed maximum price contract for the first of three possible bid packages. The second bid will be presented to trustees later this spring. A third bid package for for the ninth-grade center’s Agriculture Barn may be a stand-alone package, or it could be wrapped into the second bid package, according to Henry Gideon, assistant superintendent for operations with Hutto ISD.
According to Gideon, preliminary construction work on the ninth-grade center will get underway as early as Feb. 18.
“The land is pretty much cleared for us,” Gideon said. “You have to treat the soil and bring in outside foundation. It’s a lot of foundation and subfoundation work.”
As it stands, the ninth-grade center project is currently over its $44 million construction budget, according to Gideon. The district is facing budgeting decisions on some aspects of the school’s approved designs. Trustees were told Feb. 14 any potential cuts to the designs of the school would not include scaling back on classrooms or any learning facilities.
Instead, the district will likely scale back on its heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit or the type of flooring to be installed in the Agriculture Barn. Gideon said the budget constraints could also lead the district to eliminate construction of the school’s athletic facilities by the time the ninth-grade center opens. Those facilities include athletic fields, a track and lighting.
“If we don’t find a way to stay within the budget, that will be cut,” Gideon said.
The Hutto ISD board of trustees in September voted to sell the remaining $54.9 million of its 2008 voter-approved bond funds and allocate those funds to the construction of the upcoming ninth-grade center. The new school will eventually expand into the district’s second high school.
Trustees voted on Feb. 14 to include a $194 million bond package proposition on the May ballot. The proposed bond package—the first the district has put on a ballot since 2008—outlines funding for renovations across the district and construction of a new middle school.