Contract awarded for high school construction

March 17, 2009

By Chantelle Lusebrink

Other school projects on track 

Structural steel has been delivered for Skyline High School's new southwest classroom wing.Issaquah School District

Structural steel has been delivered for Skyline High School's new southwest classroom wing.Issaquah School District

Issaquah School Board members unanimously voted March 11 to accept the bid presented by Cornerstone General Contractors for the Issaquah High School construction project. 

Cornerstone had the lowest bid of the nine general contractors who submitted applications for the project. Cornerstone submitted a $61.5 million base bid for the project. The second lowest bid was $61.6 million — about $88,000 more. The highest bid was $67.6 million, according to district documents. 

“It has been a very close, very competitive bidding process,” said Steve Crawford, director of capital projects for the district. “That is good. It means the general contractors are seeing the same, clear set of documents and information.”

When asked by board members whether references for Bothell-based Cornerstone were positive, Crawford said they were.

“We have had good responses from discussions and inquiries with other schools,” he said, adding that Cornerstone has worked on several school projects, including Newport High School in Bellevue.

District officials sent out a Notice of Intent March 12, which asks Cornerstone employees to file a contract and complete bond and insurance paperwork with the district by March 23. 

Once that paperwork is in, district officials can issue a Notice to Proceed and the general contractor can begin developing plans and site work.

If city officials approve the demolition permit requested by district officials, work at the school could begin by the end of March, Crawford said. 

City officials also have to approve the building and Public Works permit package submitted by the district before construction can get underway. Those permits, which underwent another round of reviews at the city, should be available soon, he said. 

City and district officials are also closer to finalizing the traffic mitigation plans at two intersections on which school traffic will have an impact: Sunset Way and Second Avenue, and Front Street South and Second Avenue. 

“Issaquah is going to get started very quickly,” he said.  

The budget for the project is $84 million, and is scheduled to have core facilities and three new three-story classroom wings completed for the return of freshman students by fall 2010.

Board members also received an update on the Skyline High School and Elementary 15 projects from Crawford. 

“Skyline is continually moving forward,” he said. “Skyline is making good progress and we’re now in the phase of construction where you see improvements.”

During the clear, cold month of February, contractors were able to finish a lot of steel construction for the northwest classroom wing and were able to pour several concrete slabs, he said. Contractors were also able lay electrical and plumbing lines for that area and began work on the science labs. 

The next shipment of structural steel for the southwest classroom wings arrived and was sorted, he added.

“As we start on the exterior wall framing, Skyline will start to look more and more like a building,” he said.  

The budget for the project is $34.5 million, which includes several new classroom wings, core facilities and a new, expanded gym.

Conversations with Sammamish city officials are still going well for the Elementary 15 project, Crawford said.

He hopes to have the project ready for bidding by the end of the month and site work could begin as early as late spring.

Crawford said his office staff and Maywood Middle School officials continue to work on preliminary plans for that remodel.

Reach Reporter Chantelle Lusebrink at 392-6434, ext. 241, or clusebrink@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.

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