GRW Architect Jimmy Piper spoke to members of the Harlan Independent Board of Education on Tuesday about ways to cut costs in their budget for the district’s kitchen/cafeteria building and renovation project.
Piper discussed reducing the budget from approximately $3 million to approximately $2 million. He suggested eliminating a proposed loading dock, which will cut $178,504 from the budget, reducing grading, eliminating a retaining wall, eliminating a mezzanine roof at a cost of $76,790, and reducing square footage by 50 percent of the cafeteria portion of the project.
After a lengthy discussion about which side of the Humanities building the board would like to see the new cafeteria built, it was the general consensus to keep the new addition where the architect originally proposed.
“Without reducing the square footage of the cafeteria we’re at $1.9 million for the project,” said Superintendent C.D. Morton. “I’m assuming that $1.9 million represents the same footprint, same equipment for a full kitchen. We still may be able to save a significant amount of dollars by not having all the equipment for a full kitchen and having a warming kitchen instead. We could possibly add the full kitchen later.”
Piper said any line item equipment the board decides not to buy comes off the budget and could save a significant number of dollars.
“I think you bringing back to us what the costs of a warming kitchen versus a full kitchen will be with the same square footage is a number we’d be interested in,” said Morton.
Piper agreed to return with those numbers and present them to the board at a special called meeting within the next few weeks so that the board may make a formal decision on whether to proceed with the project.
“I want whatever we can afford,” said board chairman Joe Meadors. “I’m fine with what you (Piper) have brought us with the changes we have suggested tonight.”
Morton said his preference is to use the current design and location for the project.
“It won’t hurt to see more numbers. We might even be surprised,” said Morton.
The discussion ended with the board tabling the issue until Piper returns with new dollar figures for a warming kitchen and cutting square footage of the cafeteria for the board to consider before proceeding with the project.
Nola Sizemore may be reached at 606-909-4147 or on Twitter @Nola_hde