Construction of the Riverside Community School District’s new secondary building is behind schedule and over its initial budget. The Daily NonPareil reports the $25 million building is expected to be finished March 6th, with plans for the district’s seventh through 12th grades to move into the building prior to the end of the 2015-16 school year.
Superintendent Jim Sutton said a wet summer last year put the project behind. It was supposed to open its doors this December, and Lueder Construction Co. has been told finishing work is urgent. Initially, the building was reported to be $22 million, and Sutton said the district expected closer to $23.5 million. The soil had to be improved for the foundation, and the cost of some work was misjudged by the project’s architects.
Sutton said current work is focused on masonry, and that’s not getting done as fast as hoped. Once the building is enclosed, though, weather will be less of a factor and there’s a chance for an earlier finish. The new building, located at the intersection of Highways 59 and 6 just outside Oakland, will have three levels. The bottom will house gyms and locker rooms, and the middle level will have a commons area, auditorium, office, music room, art room and kitchen.
Classrooms, grouped into middle-school and high-school areas, as well as a media center are planned for the third floor. Sutton said the commons area will be the last space to finish before the shell of the building is complete to accommodate larger equipment working on the project.
The bottom line, Sutton said, is the project will be finished and will not require any additional tax burden because of higher costs. Voters approved a $15.1 million bond issue for the building in June 2013. Once the new building opens, the junior high and high school currently located in Oakland will close. The district will still operate an elementary school in Oakland and an intermediate school in Carson.