Delaware News

Schultz, Dempsey renovations

One project set to begin, but the other is delayed

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Construction at Schultz Elementary School will begin in June, but Dempsey Middle School's construction is taking longer than Delaware City School District leaders anticipated.

A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, at Schultz, 499 Applegate Lane. Construction is scheduled to begin June 2.

Expected completion date for Schultz is July 13, 2015.

Monday night, May 19, the school board approved the lowest bidder for two additions to be made to the building.

One addition will add four more classrooms, and the other addition will house eight classrooms. When construction is completed, the school will be able to house students in grades K-5.

Construction will begin with the connection of Willow Down Lane and Applegate Lane, which will make way for traffic redirection.

Larry Davis, former district facilities and transportation director, and current project manager, said the new road renovations will mean less traffic congestion during pickup and drop-off times for students.

They are also adding additional parking spaces, which will be completed during the summer.

"We have to get these projects done first, when we have asphalt available," Davis said.

"It's only available until November at the latest."

Davis said they will be able to isolate construction when school begins again in the fall, so no students will need to be moved during the process.

Construction at Dempsey has been halted by about six weeks, because of the rising costs of construction.

"We received our redesign work cost and it is significantly above what we had in our budget," Davis said. "We are going to have to put our bids out again in the summer."

Davis said although the economy has gotten better, a lot of contractors went out of business when the economy was not doing well.

He said there are fewer contractors who are bidding, and those who are bidding have a lot of projects from which to choose.

"Some are reluctant to add additional staff until they have a project in hand that they want," he said.

"They have more options to choose from," he said.

Davis said the district is working on a plan with less building square footage, in hopes of saving some money.

"We will still have the capacity that we promised to manage sixth- through eighth-grade students when the building is complete," he said.

"We are scaling back, but it will still be just as nice," Davis said.

"It will be a building that the community will be proud of and our sixth-grade students will love," he said.

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