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School board talks architects, land possibilities

The Tea Area school board met Jan. 9 and discussed plans for a land agreement and possible construction for a new elementary.

Superintendent Jennifer Lowery said the city is agreeable to the land agreement the school has prepared and the city sees no conflict of interest of HDR, the city’s engineer, to do the traffic pattern and surveying. President John Herr said getting these items done will help finalize the purchase agreement with the Boulder Group.

Other board members were concerned about the cost of hiring HDR. Wayne Larsen, district operations manager, speculated that this part of the project would cost less than $2,000. The board was comfortable that it was no conflict of interest, but asked the superintendent to get a cost estimate.

Lowery said the district’s attorney is going over the purchase agreement and it should be ready in a few days. Lowery presented a request for proposal (RFP) she intends to send to architects and construction managers. The board will meet with potential construction managers Feb. 3 beginning at 5:30 p.m. The board plans to meet with potential architects Feb. 6 at 5:30 p.m. They wanted to meet with them before the board’s Feb. 13 school board meeting.

Lowery presented a timeline for work on a new elementary school. At the beginning of February, they will interview architects and construction managers. In February and March, they hope to present information at public listening sessions to develop a plan of building, identify public interest and input on district planning and form a committee to move forward with the initiative if the community support is identified through listening sessions. In April, the plan is to layout the initial plans of the building and have community informational meetings. In June, a possible bond referendum if community driven with the board election.

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