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June 19, 2014
Granbury ISD Bond  
Granbury ISD superintendent Dr. James Largent visited with parent-teacher organization officers, teachers, and other community leaders about summer construction projects during walk-throughs at three elementary campuses on June 19, 2014.
Construction recently began at all elementary and middle schools for controlled entry vestibules to improve campus security. Most projects will be complete prior to the start of the 2014-15 school year.
With the secure entries, visitors will be required to report to the campus office in order to present identification before being granted access to the main part of the school.
Improved campus security was one of the issues approved by district voters in the November 2013 bond election, which also addresses transforming Granbury High School, enhancing career and technical education and fine arts programs, building a robust technology infrastructure for model classrooms, and many other improvements.
Largent, along with district facilities director Randy Leach, visited Acton Elementary School, Oak Woods School, and Roberson Elementary School to discuss progress on those projects and also reasons for delays in some portions of the capital improvements.
The controlled entry vestibules are set for completion prior to the start of the school year – except for Oak Woods . Because of the larger scope of work at that campus, completion is scheduled for November. Rather than simple renovations to the existing office area, the Oak Woods project required a small addition to the front of the building.
On June 4, the school board approved an overall figure of $3.605 million as the guaranteed maximum price for the security vestibules at the eight campuses.
The district had hoped to begin construction on new gymnasiums for Acton Elementary School and Emma Roberson Elementary School this summer. However, due to larger than expected costs, the two gyms have been postponed until Summer 2015 and are being rolled into the larger high school project to provide better financing through “economies of scale.”
The delay on the two gyms became necessary when “it was obvious that the gym projects were higher than we expected and the number of subcontractors who bid on the gyms was limited. There was not as much competition as we would have liked for the gyms,” said Largent.
“Our summer projects are considered ‘small jobs’ in the commercial construction world, and subcontractors were going to charge us a premium to come work on these small jobs during summer - their busiest time of the year,” the superintendent stated. “Construction work is up all over the state, and many companies already had large jobs slated for this summer.”
“After talking to architects, our construction manager, and our board, the decision was made to include the gyms in the bid with the high school project.   By doing this, we believe we will get a better value by increasing the number of bidders on the project and including it as a small piece of a large project,” he continued. “The projections are on target with what we told voters. We think that with the gyms wrapped into the larger project, the overall costs will be right in line with projections.”
The Buford-Thompson Company is the construction manager at-risk for all GISD bond projects and is working alongside the Huckabee architectural firm. Plans are still under development for the GHS transformation and additions, with construction planned to begin in late fall and last through August 2016.
Pictured above, Largent visits with parents and others at Oak Woods.