$500K upgrade approved for Benton band program

Dana Guthrie
Staff Writer

The Benton School Board has approved a bid close to $500,000 from Nabholz construction to fund the expansion of the Benton High School band facilities.
The project was approved during Monday’s meeting.
“The project will increase the size of our high school band building, roughly adding an additional 1,200 square feet,” said Plant Manager Kevin Chastain. “It will also include renovating areas for additional equipment storage, new interior finishes, lighting, flooring, ceilings, etc. It will also open up the area along the front where we can put a rollup door for ease unloading and loading their equipment.”
According to the bid information, the total price for the expansion will be $483,314.
The project will also include:
•A contingency of $15,000.
•Weather delays based on NOAA.
•Temporary power by owner.
•No design fee.
•Test cost provided by the school.
Chastain said the project is estimated to take 22 weeks from the start date and board members were concerned about the project being finished before the start of the 2018-19 school year.
“It will be close,” Chastain said. “We can also go in and we can put up temporary walls while we do the renovations to the existing space this summer and get it ready. We can put up temporary walls so we can actually work and they can hold classes if we run into the school year … I’ve spoken with the construction manager and told him that it’s a busy time of year right when school starts with classes and everything so we are going to accommodate as best we can.”
Chastain also told the board that he had been in contact with both the Benton High School principal and band director and that both have been “with him on this project from day one”.
The board voted unanimously to accept the bid.
In addition to approving the new construction, the school board also approved the following:
•A $5,000 matching funds request from the Caldwell Elementary School PTO to purchase water fountains capable of filling water bottles and a new sound system for the cafeteria stage.
•An application for Part B funds to be used for the provision of special education and related services.
•A contract renewal with Aramark to provide food services for the school district.
•An agreement to participate into the Arch Ford Crossroads ALE and HUB Program.