QHS gym to stay open for sports until early 2019

The Quincy Junior-Senior High School gym is projected to remain open for sports and community use through at least January 2019 before vital repairs are anticipated to commence in approximately late February, according to the school district.

Superintendent Terry Oestreich with Plumas Unified School District announced Aug. 6 that consultants for the district do not anticipate a need to close the gym for the entire school year.

“I have been informed that, under current conditions, the gym can be occupied by students and staff (through about January and possibly into February),” Oestreich commented.

Plans laid for estimates and work

The superintendent outlined the current project timeline as follows:

By Sept. 10, construction drawings for the majority of the repairs are due from PUSD’s consultants.

In the weeks following, plans will be submitted to the Department of the State Architect (DSA) for review. DSA approval is anticipated back about Jan. 11.

Oestreich estimated the bid process for the gym repair work will begin soon after the DSA approval comes back and trustees with the PUSD Governing Board could vote to award a contract for the work in mid-February.

“This means that the gym will then be closed for the duration of the project,” the superintendent remarked, stating the district will provide updates as they go through the process.

For now, PUSD estimates the Quincy gym repairs will take place from early spring through next summer with plans to open the gym again in September 2019.

Costs likely higher than Greenville gym

Compared to work the district has carried out on the Greenville Junior-Senior High School gym, the planned repairs for Quincy’s gym could be far more extensive and may reach as high as $8 million, funded by Measure B bond monies, but those dollar figures are not set at this point.

For example, the GJSHS gym project came in under $1.8 million. However, according to PUSD Associate Superintendent for Business Services Lisa Cavin, there are several differences between the projects.

“We did not replace the roof (at Greenville High),” she explained. “The majority of the work was related to flooring and drainage. We did not pursue state funding, as it started as a much smaller project with a very short timeline.”

New roof part of Quincy project

Cavin also explained that the district is looking at a full roof replacement, rather than just repair, for the Quincy gym.

“At Greenville, the issue was more related to drainage, so the areas that needed to be addressed were different,” the associate superintendent said. “Also, the square footage is different, and there may be ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) upgrades that could be triggered. And due to the tight construction market right now, costs are increasing more than 10 percent per year, which is certainly reflected in the projected costs as well.”

Cavin further clarified that the dollar figures being considered are only an estimate for the QJSHS gym at this point. The school district won’t know the actual cost for the repairs until bids are received in early 2019.

Getting the best deals via bids

Asked if PUSD has any ability to negotiate lower prices for school repairs, Cavin said, “Unfortunately, with public works, we are not able to negotiate costs with contractors, so estimates are provided by our architects and/or project manager based on the current market. With our geographic location, costs often run 30 percent more than urban districts.”

When the bids come in, they will also take into account contingency and soft costs (testing, project management, architect, etc.).

Reflecting on the process for estimating the expenses for critical and essential repairs needed at PUSD school facilities, Cavin added, “We will be approaching this project as if state funding may be available for reimbursement, which means that we have some additional steps to take, which also increases the cost up front. If reimbursement is received, it will be put back into other school projects.”

Glad to keep the QHS gym open

Summing up where the district is with the Quincy High gym project at this point, Superintendent Oestreich said, “We are pleased that our students, staff and community will be able to utilize the gym during fall and winter for school activities. Additional information will be provided as details are confirmed.”

For more information, contact the PUSD’s County Office of Education in Quincy at 283-6500.