West Franklin is early in the planning stages of all the new structures included in the $13 million bond issue that was passed by district voters this past summer.

“We are in the process of getting details of the classrooms,” Jerry Turner, West Franklin Superintendent, said. “We are trying to finalize some of the little things.”

The district hired Mar Lan Construction, Lawrence, as the Construction Manager at Risk in its Sept. 5 special meeting. In that same meeting, the board hired Hansen Design Architects, LLC, as the architect of the project.

Turner said Mar Lan will be in charge of seeing that the district gets want it is asking for and is done correctly.

Mar Lan completed several projects in the educational field including Bishop Seabury’s Reese Hall, Naismith Hall remodel, University of Kansas library annex and the Lied Center of Kansas.

“Mar Lan has met with Mr. Hanson,” Turner said. “They have had communication back-and-forth. I know certain things are coming along.”

Turner’s letter to district patrons on the district web site said, “Sometime after the selection of the CMAR, bids for the projects will be available for the contractors to bid on. The bids will then be approved by the Board. As for an actual date for the bids to be available for contractors to bid on, and then for the date of construction to begin, I do not know that date. I am hoping for the bids to be available for the contractors to bid on sometime before the end of 2018 and construction to begin sometime early in 2019. This time frame is strictly a ‘guesstimate’ on my part.”

Turner said it will take Mar Lan awhile to write and prepare the bids.

“There will be a pause once we get plans finalized,” he said. “This has a process to it like anything else. It may be a little more in depth. We are trying to follow that process the best we can. We will get there. They are filling in the details. It will take awhile because there are a lot of details to a project this size.”

Turner said soil testing was completed early this week to see what kind of footings will be needed.

The superintendent said district patrons are excited about the project, which includes upgrades to the middle school/high school in Pomona, Williamsburg Elementary and Appanoose Elementary to provide more usable space and increase security measures. The plan is to build a new gym, music room and vo-ag building at the Pomona campus.

“The people are looking forward to it,” he said. “People are curious to see what we are going to get and what it will look like. It has been positive.”