New Farson-Eden School Moves Forward

New Farson-Eden School Moves Forward
The 2017-2018 graduating class should be the first to graduated in a brand new school.

ROCK SPRINGS – The new school at Farson-Eden is once again moving forward and took a big step Monday. The Sweetwater County School District No. 1 Board unanimously approved Hogan and Associates as the contractor on the project.

Hogan and the district have worked together on Black Butte High School and they are currently doing the upgrades at the Rock Springs High School swimming pool. They have also worked on projects at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County.

At the meeting Monday, the board heard an update on the project from Paul Grube. The former superintendent was instrumental early on and worked closely to get the state’s School Facility Commission on board with the needs of the district.

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The process for the new school in the Farson-Eden area began about three years ago. Grube explained while the process has hit a few bumps along the way, it is now ready to go. Some of these bumps included sewer issues and the fire suppression system. Grube credited the Farson-Eden Fire Administration for writing a letter of support which helped get the process moving again.

Grube said the bid process was a win for both the state and the district. In previous bid processes with the recent new schools, Grube explained they all came in over budget. 

Instead of bidding the project in July, the district waited after being told they would have a better chance to get lower bids by waiting until the early winter months.

The district received six bids on the project, up from the past new school projects. Grube also explained five of the six bids came in under budget for the first time with the lowest bidder being almost $2 million under budget.

Grube said there has been some question about the financing. While the SFC picks up most of the bill, there are some things that they do not cover. For example, they do not provide money for things like bleachers or swimming pools. Grube explained the district put a recreation board in place several years ago which raised money through a mill tax to cover costs the commission didn’t. He said the board has put an “ample” amount of money aside for the project.

Grube said overall the process was “good wins for both the district and the state.”

In the contract, construction must start March 1 but does say once the contract was accepted, Hogan could start at any time. Completion Date is set for May of 2017. Grube said on the last day of school, they will start the demolition process. He said it will be a quick process as the school will have two weeks to move everything out.

Hogan will make sure the construction site is safe and it will be fenced. It will be built similar to the recent upgrades done at the junior high. Grube said construction will take place while school is going on and Hogan is very much aware of this. He said they will do everything possible to make sure students are not impacted.

After his presentation, the board recognized the work Grube has done as both the former superintendent and in his current role. Board member Neil Kourbelas said the district and the community are grateful for his work with the projects while also getting state cooperation.

With Chairman Brady Baldwin attending by phone, Vice-Chairman  Lenny Hay ran the meeting. Before asking for a motion to accept the contractor for the project, Hay, the Farson representative on the board, said they have waited a long time for a new school and was happy to see that day finally arrive.