Brewster construction

Construction continues in the Brewster School District.

Brewster plans elementary project next, then high school

BREWSTER - Construction on the new Brewster Middle School is nearing completion, with district officials anticipating final inspection by the beginning of August.

A community open house is being scheduled for late August, said Superintendent Eric Driessen.

The final date is yet to be determined, “but we will have a barbecue and tours of the new building,” he said.

Activities are already being planned for the new performance center area. Driessen said more information will be coming later about community use of the performance center area, gym and walking track.

Construction has started on the elementary school. Work will begin in the center of the building and work east, with a planned completion date of Jan. 1, 2020. Then work will begin on the remaining part of the elementary building, with a planned completion of June 2020.

Elementary students will be housed in the middle school and move with construction in the elementary school, said Driessen.

“In this way, construction can continue throughout the year,” Driessen said. “It will be more difficult to follow the construction process in the elementary as they did with the middle school, since most of the work is on the inside of the building, however the outside will get a makeover that matches the middle school.”

The high school project will go out to bid during the summer of 2020 and construction will begin that fall. That portion of the project includes an update and remodel of the inside of the high school, new all-weather track and parking lot work.

When the community approved a bond issue in 2016, project costs were based on construction costs at the time. The state held on to capital project funds for that year, which extended the district’s starting date.

Then the the state released two years worth of capital project money and construction industry saw a significant increase. That translated into significant cost increases for all construction.

“As we began putting the details together for the high school project, we found as a result of the increased costs over four years, it was going to negatively impact the planned project for the high school,” Driessen said. “In our case, we were fortune that our board had built the reserves and the district is able to contribute to the bond project.

“By using district funds we are also able to capitalize on our 75 percent match. With this contribution, the high school project will go on as planned. Had the board not been diligent in conserving district funds, the high school project would have been cut significantly and that would not have been fair to our community.”

The board was adamant about ensuring taxpayers received what they had approved.

The entire project is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2021.

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