December 5, 2022
We finally received some guidance on the direction we need to go with the construction project. Here is a quick recap of the situation:
- We had our bid opening meeting in November. Unfortunately, due to the state of inflation and the associated high costs of essential materials and skilled labor, the project came in over budget between $375,000-$600,000. We cannot simply borrow more money as school’s have a debt limit directly associated with the EAV of the school community. At this time, we have reached that debt limit and do not have the option to borrow more money. So what next?
- In July, a grant for early childhood construction was released. We wrote and submitted for a $3.3 million dollar grant. Grant awards were slated to be announced in November. At the time, it made sense to wait for the grant announcement before making a decision on next steps. Getting the grant would allow us to move forward with the project as planned. If the grant was not funded, we would switch to a 2 phase construction project, phase 1, the classrooms, followed by phase 2, the gym. The construction of the classrooms is a topmost priority as we are out of space. While moving forward with the classroom phase of the project, we would work on securing funding to fill the gap for the gym project.
- On the grant announcement page, it clearly indicates that the “CDB expects to make award announcements in November 2022”, thus the reason we were in a holding pattern on the project. We anticipated knowing the status of the grant by the end of November. As of November 30, I had yet to hear from the Capital Development Board on the status of the grant, so I emailed them. To my dismay, we were told not to expect any results until at least the middle of January. With that being said, given that we need to get the classrooms started as soon as possible, we will be moving forward with the 2 phase approach to the project. We are working closely with the architect to get the classroom phase of the project started as soon as possible. When we have more information to share, we will let you know.
While it is frustrating that nothing seems to be going as planned on this project, I am choosing to focus my energy on what we can control, making sure we have everything on our end ready to go for this project. I am grateful that we have this opportunity to expand, and I look forward to overcoming the challenges we face to make the finished product one that we will all be proud of.
Thank you for waiting patiently with us,
With Bulldog pride,