Oxford school board approves Drahner Road project budget increase

By Shelby Stewart-Soldan
Staff Writer
OXFORD TWP. – During the regular meeting on Feb. 27, the Oxford Community Schools Board of Education approved a $206,581 change order for the Drahner Road project, as well as a fee of $107,616 to tap into the Oxford Township sewer and water.
The Drahner Road project was originally budgeted to cost $4.178 million. The property will house the Oxford Virtual Academy, Oxford Bridges High School and the technology department.
The project is expected to be completed around May, but there are a few HVAC items that need to be corrected, as well as some electrical issues.
“What the state fire inspector found when the building was originally created, the electrical was improperly placed within the entire building. It was against code back in 1998,” said Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations Sam Barna. “We have to correct that.”
Those items, plus the sewer and water fees, have pushed the expected cost slightly over budget, even with the money budgeted for contingencies.
“We think it behooves us to ask for an additional amount of contingency on top of those two change orders so that we don’t have to come back to the board should something else arise,” Barna said. “It’s basically a little bit of insurance. We still have, after we’re all finished, final inspections. Something could come up in final inspections.”
The changes would bring the total budget up to $4.385 million for the remodel.
“We’ve been leasing for the last 7-8 years, and spending approximately $200,000 a year for leased space,” Barna said.
There is also a question of if the current underground water pipe that leads to the building is still good.
“What we don’t know is if the integrity of the water pipe beneath the ground from basically the pump house to the inside of our building,” Barna said. “And it’s basically a 100-foot run. We’re going to have testing done and do a pressure test to ensure the integrity of that water line. If it’s not sufficient, we’re going to have to use some of those funds.”
The project is still expected to be around $500,000 under the new budget, and those funds may go toward furniture or parking lot improvements.

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