School Board Increases Consultant’s Contract

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The school board approved a $5,000 increase to the contract with the company responsible for monitoring the development process of the Banning Ranch project for the district.

The amendment brings the contract, between the Newport-Mesa Unified School District and TRG Land, Inc., up to $15,000.

The district owns about 11 acres adjacent to Banning Ranch. The land, between 16th Street and Whittier Avenue, is being considered as a potential school site, according to the agenda item text.

The agreement with TRG Land Inc. was approved in August of 2010 for the services of a professional planner. The school district wanted to ensure that the residential community planned for Banning Ranch would be consistent with the district’s property rights for potential school use.

The increase in the contract was for ongoing attendance in meetings with the project team members and the district, as well as reports and work done relating to the company’s presentation to the board in November about a Memorandum of Understanding between the district and Newport Banning Ranch LLC.

The presentation explored the potential impact on the district’s property and reported that the acreage would remain the same and the shape of the property would still be usable.

The MOU agreement with Newport Banning Ranch involved an exchange of equivalent amounts of property to accommodate the needed realignment for the street pattern of the proposed community.

The memorandum also incorporated approximately $1 million worth of road improvements and utility preparation for the district’s property at Newport Banning Ranch’s cost.

The agreement also stated that development of the adjoining NBR property to the north of NMUSD’s property be limited to residential or commercial that’s compatible with the adjacent school site.

The Banning Ranch project is still in the process of getting city and county approval.

Also on Tuesday night, the school board approved advertising for bids for the Corona del Mar high school theater complex, weight room and middle school enclave.

According to a recent district message, the project plans are still under review by the Division of the State Architect. Once the plans are approved the district can advertise for bids. The district expects approval to be granted in January or February, according to the message.

The groundwork is completed and the construction areas are closed off and ready for work to begin.

The most expensive of the projects is the theater, estimated total cost of about $16 million, the enclave approximately $15.75 million and the weight room estimated at $2 million. All will be paid for by Measure F funds.

The approved item also authorized Deputy Superintendent Paul Reed to award the bid on the board’s behalf to the lowest qualified bidder in order to facilitate the bid.

The 350+ seat theater will include a box office, lobby area, concessions, custodial accommodations, control room and more. An attached Black Box will be an academic area for theater, dressing rooms, scene shop, prop storage and drama and tech offices.

The middle school enclave classrooms will consist of girls and boys restrooms, an administrative support area, science labs, and classrooms for English, math, social studies, exploring technology and special education.

The indoor athletic weight room will replace the current outside area covered with shade structure.

The district will also be advertising bids for similar construction projects at Costa Mesa High School.

The board also approved the awarding of a contract to A-1 Fence Company for fencing time and material for a period of up to five years.

The contract is renewable annually, per labor rates and unit/material prices as listed on the bid pricing sheets.

The district does not expect any budget changes for the 2011-2012 year from the 2010-2011 fencing expenditure at $108,668.

The district received seven bids after advertising for the project in November. A-1 Fence had the lowest total estimated cost for six hypothetical fencing projects.

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