Snowy weather in February impacts construction schedule for new Blakely school

Winter weather — including last month’s snowstorm that closed schools for days — has set the construction project for the new Blakely elementary school back three to four weeks, according to officials with the Bainbridge Island School District.

Mithun, the architects for the new school, said last July that the school would have a 13-month construction schedule, and expected that to conclude by March 2019.

A two-month commissioning contingency was included in the earlier project schedule, with the school being ready to open this September.

Ground was broken on the project last April for the new school, which was approved by Bainbridge voters via a bond measure in February 2016.

But after “Snowmagedden” struck in February, slippery conditions at the construction site delayed progress on the project.

District officials said crews worked overtime on the new elementary school on Saturdays in February to meet the schedule, and will continue working on Saturdays through March to put the school back on track.

School district officials said allowances as part of the original bid amount and contractor’s contingency will cover the overtime costs for most trades.

It’s not the first setback for the project’s schedule, though.

Last August, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 302 went on strike, which kept heavy equipment operators, concrete pumpers, engineers and others off the job site. The strike ended in September, and crews worked on Saturdays to make up for the lost time, according to the school district.

Changes to the construction plan for Blakely have continued to be made in recent weeks.

The Bainbridge Island School Board will consider its sixth change order for the project, which includes toilet accessory revisions, powered roller shades in the library, changing the mechanical mezzanine in the gym from plywood to concrete, light fixture changes and other modifications.

The cost of the changes are $68,207.

Previous change orders have cut costs by $607,902 for the project.

If the school board agrees to the changes, the revised construction contract for the new Blakely will total $32,742,259.

State taxes on the project total $2.9 million, so the revised construction contract, with tax included, will total more than $35.6 million.

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