Unprecedented inflation has taken a bite out of plans for the new North Minot High School.
The Minot Public School Board gave approval Tuesday to offer packages for the next phase of the project, which needed to be done quickly to lock in fees that could continue to rise.
The bids came in a few weeks ago at 17% over budget. In response, school administrators have looked “efficiency” that can reduce costs and keep the project within budget.
Practically, that means science classrooms will have cubicles without glass fronts, the new building will have different and cheaper lighting fixtures and flooring, landscaping plans will be scaled back, and the district will use some from the existing curbs and gutters in the parking lot. Other cost-cutting measures will also be taken, though Superintendent Mark Vollmer said it will still be a quality building.
Vollmer said downsizing the building itself to save money is not an option.
“The building is designed for 1200 students. Vollmer said. “We have 2,000 in high school now.”
Overcrowding was one of the reasons supporters said building the new school was necessary.
The new North Minot 9-12 Middle School sits on the site of the former Cognizant building, which was donated to the school district for the nominal fee of $10. It will include a sports stadium and swimming pool, as well as the new Minot Area Workforce Academy in a separate building on campus.
Voters approved the bond issue last December that will pay for the renovation and new construction of North Minot High School, as well as the renovation of the Magic City campus to a 9-12 high school and the renovation of the Central Campus to a third school secondary in the city. Minot, which currently has one high school spread over two campuses, will have two 9-12 high schools when all buildings open in the fall of 2024.