WCCS readies for renovations for Eagle Tech

     Whitley County Consolidated Schools officials are meeting regularly with architects for renovations at the Marshall Community Center in preparation for the Eagle Tech program slated to launch next fall.
     The board of school trustees recently approved the combination of the first two phases of the renovations that will be done by Gibraltar Design.
     The architectural fees for both phases will cost $131,800, plus other reimbursable expenses.
     Board members James Renbarger and Steve Hively voted against the contract.
     The board hopes that the combination of the two phases will bring some savings, especially at a time when construction prices are still not up to normal.
     “Bid numbers are still coming in at a relatively lower market than two years ago,” said Tony Zickgraf, business and operations director for WCCS.
     Both phases of the work will involve 12 classrooms and a new entrance to the building.
     “Doing both phases at once is just a makes-sense kind of thing to me,” board member Deb Hiss said.
     The third phase of construction will include new boilers and air handlers for the building and will likely not start until the summer of 2012.
     The school district received two large federal stimulus fund loans in the last two years that will pay for the construction costs.
     Of those loans, $1 million was spent at Columbia City High School.
     The remaining funds will be used for construction and renovation at the Marshall building.
     The $850,000 left from the first batch of stimulus funds awarded in 2009 will likely be paid back at a 1.75 percent interest rate, according to Zickgraf.
     The $1.99 million in funds awarded this year though are likely to not have any interest.
     “We’re basically borrowing the money at zero percent interest,” Zickgraf said.