FARMINGTON – Farmingtons plan to build junior high school and expand elementary schools in Folsom and Williams is up more than $ 3 million from $ 9.5 million, according to Tyson Reimer, senior project manager at Kinco Constructors Up $ 12.96 million.

Reimer announced the news to the Farmington School Board at its August 23 meeting.

After 30% of the design plans are completed, the company estimates the junior high expansion will cost $ 9.5 million; the expansion of Williams, $ 1.7 million; and Folsom’s expansion, $ 1.74 million.

The district plans to expand the secondary school at two locations: a two-story building on the site of the former gymnasium of the old grammar school and a second extension on the site of the old H-hall.

The district also plans to add six classrooms and bathrooms to Folsom and Williams.

Reimer said Kinco and Hight Jackson Associates, architects for the projects, were looking at ways to cut costs by $ 800,000 to $ 1 million at the request of Superintendent Jon Laffoon.

Reimer told board members that the construction industry has seen cost increases of 25-30% in the past six months to a year.

“We see that today,” said Reimer based on the estimated budget for the Farmington projects a year ago.

He said the cost of crude steel is increasing by about 5% per week. Another issue that needs to be monitored is the lead time for such items as HVAC systems. Reimer said the company will be working on these items to ensure the products meet construction schedules.

Reimer said the new estimated cost of $ 12.97 million is based on the prices the company expects when it opens in November.

“We’ll put our heads together to see what we can come up with,” said Mark Haguewood with Hight Jackson, who also attended the board meeting to discuss the construction projects.

Haguewood said he wanted to preserve the integrity of the design but would try to change some of the materials to save money. The companies had already decided to bundle all construction projects and start at the same time in order to reduce overhead costs.

The elementary extension should be ready in autumn 2022, the junior high extension should be ready in January 2023.

Haguewood said the school could not reduce the square footage of the expansions due to requirements from the Arkansas Department of Education.

“We’ll try to find other ways that work,” said Haguewood.

The district has a construction fund of around $ 12 million, according to Laffoon.

“We’re still a bit short,” Laffoon said, noting that the district needs to keep a balance in the fund as it looks for land for a new elementary school to open for the 2024-25 school year.

He hopes the two companies can make some savings and that the board won’t have to make tough decisions.

According to Laffoon, the number of students in Farmington continues to grow and the accesses are needed for that growth. The district ended the 2020/21 school year with 2,567 enrollments and started the new year with 2,645 students.

As part of another action, on Aug. 23, the school board approved a resolution on a $ 2.5 million second mortgage bond that will be used to pay off a $ 3.8 million energy saving deal with Entegrity Energy Partners.

The resolution empowers Stephens Inc. to apply to the State Board of Education for the bonds to be issued.

Jason Holsclaw with Stephens said the bonds will be backed by the savings guaranteed by the school’s contract with Entegrity.

“We are happy with this funding,” Holsclaw told the board members.

The board approved the energy saving contract at its meeting on May 24th. Once the energy projects are implemented, the district is guaranteed to save $ 282,000 in annual costs. If the savings are not achieved, the provider issues a check to the district for the difference.

Energy projects include LED lighting throughout the district, two solar panels, HVAC replacement, smart thermostats, water saving measures on fixtures and a generation to provide emergency server backup. The order also includes the stadium lighting on the new route.

Holsclaw said Stephens predicts the district can sell the bonds at an estimated interest rate of 2.15%. The annual debt settlement for the 20 year loan will be between $ 155,000 and $ 160,000.

With the savings guaranteed, the district will be able to pay the deposit and still have savings for other needs, Holsclaw said.

Laffoon said the district will use the proceeds from the issue of secondary Pfandbriefe and the federal Covid relief fund to pay for the energy contract. The federal money can be used for HVAC and other air quality projects.

In other actions, Farmington School Board:

• Appointment of the school nurse Audrey Eldridge as the district contact for Covid-19. The wage rate is $ 15 per hour until 40 hours for the week and then increases to $ 29.93 per hour.

• Approved a one-time payment of $ 1,500 for all school nurses for their contact tracing assistance between 7:30 am and 4:00 pm

• Appointment of Chairman Travis Warren as Regional Director of the Arkansas School Boards Association.

• Approved the school budget for 2021-22.

• Approved staff actions, including Jean Hoffheimer, 7th grade English; Jessica Ims, junior high school advisor; Ashton Gajevsky, elementally gifted and talented; Katherine Nickle from Gifted and Talented to High School Art.