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ERO Architects presented four options for a new building and renovations for the MHS Phase III project on Dec. 4 at the district’s committee meetings. The district found that “Option D” would be best suited for the campus and the educational program they had created.
In October, Superintendent Ricardo Lopez brought in the idea of using an educational program for the project. The program is a document given to architects with the specific data of sizes, types and numbers of classrooms required for a new building.
The program called for 49 new classrooms, an expansion on the cafeteria and creating a recognizable front entrance for the campus. Lopez stressed that only necessary items would be included in the project with no luxuries.
With option “D”, ERO Architects explained the open area on campus would be filled with two-story buildings. Building M, on the north side of the campus just immediately south of the Mission Collegiate High School portables, would receive remediation, and would establish staff or administrative offices.
“The model meets closely to our educational program, to give a new front to the campus,” said Rick Rivera, executive director of maintenance/facilities/construction. “It also ties together buildings “A,” “B” and “D.” Those buildings will be tied into the new building with covered hallways. A passageway to the new building from north to south.”
Rivera added students would be sheltered from extreme weather conditions like rain or hail.
The budget for the MHS Phase III project is $18 million, including construction and soft costs. Rivera explained if the cost begins to exceed the budget, all work will cease and it will be brought forward to the board if any adjustments need to be made.
At the committee meeting on Jan. 15, Rivera said a preliminary budget was received at the end of December 2013 from ERO Architects that went over the project budget of $18 million, so he put a stop to the schematic design.
“We met this afternoon and we corrected some items,” Rivera said. “We narrowed the scope of work…we got it down to the proposed budget. I had stopped the project, again, we worked on it and they have a directive again to begin working on the design.”
ERO Architects will continue designing “Option D”, where the board hopes to address security issues on campus.
“One of our problems with MHS was there are too many access points,” Lopez said. “The other options given to us conflicted with the district’s initiative to close off the campus. We would still have congregation points but they would be inside, not outside.”
The board approved the basic schematic design, though some board members were still weary of the $634,579 baseline study that ERO Architects performed for the project while not under contract.
Board Member Sonia M. Treviño asked members of the architectural company if the study would still be used for the project. The ERO Architects said the question would need to by handled by Eli R. Ochoa, president and CEO.
“We just need to move forward, we just need to give this school what they need and what they deserve,” trustee Patricia O'Caña-Olivarez said.
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.