The projected completion of the new Franklin High School and renovation of the current high school into the new junior high school will be delayed by a few months to November 2023 or later due to a backlog in building supplies. In addition, there is a backlog for steel that won’t be available until November 2022, and costs for roofing and other materials are rising.
Excavation work has already started for a drainage detention pond near the Hampton Bennett building for the new high school project, according to city officials.
Board member Bob Knipper said the district should build the high school the way the board and community wants it.
“We made a promise to stretch our tax dollars,” Knipper said. “We only get one chance to do this right.”
The board was told that the site work is nearly completed and that the foundations for the new building will begin in June. Another review of alternates to the contract will be reviewed in late August.
The board and Conger Construction Group have agreed on a guaranteed maximum price of nearly $36.5 million to construct the high school facility, based on the amendment approved this week.
Superintendent Michael Sander said the board will look for other items to adjust as well as looking at the comparison in prices. He said there is more than $2.2 million in various options in the project.
“The board desires to stay true and budget true to as much of the original concept as possible,” Sander said.
Franklin voters approved a bond issue for new school facilities in November 2020 by a margin of 60% to 40% to provide construction funding for four new buildings and the complete renovation of a fifth, which will convert the current high school on East Fourth Street into a new junior high school.
Because Franklin is participating in the Expedited Local Partnership Program, the state will pay 57% of the cost of the four new classroom buildings. Voters approved the bond issue for the local share. The state funding for the new Gerke, Schenck and Hunter elementary buildings is expected to be released in 2027, according to district and state officials.