The Chagrin Falls Board of Education last week approved more than $68,000 worth of change orders to Gilbane Building Co. of Cleveland for additional work needed to complete the two year Intermediate School renovation and construction project.

Project manager Keri Ash of Gilbane presented the change orders to the board on July 24 describing the soon-to-be completion of the $29 million project “bittersweet.”

With a few final touches on the Intermediate School, along with some face-lifting to the Chagrin Falls High School and Gurney Elementary School, Ms. Ash said the buildings all are on track to open for the upcoming school year, but not without some additional costs throughout the project timeline.

The originally $26 million price tag – part of the total $29 million that included the $2.4 million construction and deconstruction of the temporary modular units by EMOD Construction, LLC – of the Intermediate School construction project has since increased to more than $27 million due to other change orders throughout the project’s two-year timeline.

With the approval of the latest change orders, the contract price totals $27.69 million. The funding for the Intermediate School is anticipated to come entirely from the $31.5 million school improvement bond issue that was approved by voters in the Chagrin Falls Exempted Village School District that covers Chagrin Falls, South Russell, Bentleyville and Moreland Hills.

Additional work included installation of jamb extensions and casing for gymnasium windows, theater lighting, additional electrical work, stair tread finishes and many more final touches to get the school ready for the 2019-2020 school year.

Ms. Ash explained that the exterior of the school is “just about to be wrapped up” with finishing touches on the ornamental fencing and landscaping. The interior is going through final inspections, she said. “We are on schedule for turnover. You’ll be starting your new school year in your new building.”

The board had no questions in regard to the change orders, but commended the work done on the new school building.

“It looks great and we had an opportunity as a board to tour the building tonight,” Board President Kathryn Garvey said at the meeting. “[We’re] just blown away by the quality of everything, and it just is a beautiful space the community and students will be able to enjoy.”

“This is bittersweet for me,” Ms. Ash said, “Probably the hardest part (of a project) is when you establish such a great relationship with the client. It’s hard to say goodbye.”

In other fiscal news, Superintendent Robert Hunt will receive a 2-percent base salary increase, as approved by the board during the meeting, for the 2020 fiscal year. Mr. Hunt’s base salary for the 2019 fiscal year was $153,000 and will increase to $156,060 effective Aug. 1, 2019.

The next Chagrin Falls Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Aug. 14 at 6 p.m. in the Sands Community Room at the 7-12 Campus.

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