The Teton School District 401 Board of Trustees voted unanimously (4-0) on Monday, July 15, 2019, to accept the Guaranteed Maximum Price presented by Headwaters Construction for renovation and additions at Teton Middle School in Driggs.

This is the final piece of six projects approved by Teton County voters in November 2017 at an estimated cost of nearly $37.3 million. It brings the overall actual costs above the approved bond amount by about 6.5 percent, attributable to the board’s decision last September to increase the size of Victor Elementary in order to meet the district’s educational needs. Other revisions have proceeded during the construction/board oversight process, resulting in a net increase of about 8,400 square feet (SF).

Take away the change of scope in the new schools and the overall project costs are within 1.6 percent of the estimate across all six projects.

The district will make up this variance with funds from its reserve fund and by selling real estate assets after construction is complete. No additional ask of county taxpayers is anticipated.

Garett Chadwick of GPC Architects, and Brent Douglass and Bryer Hastings of Headwaters Construction, answered questions from the board during Monday’s meeting. They distributed a single-page summary of Bond Budget Pricing as of September 2017 and Actual Costs as of July 11, 2019 on all six projects (including the GMP for TMS).

Actual costs include renovations for things like safety improvements to entryways and modified use of existing space as well as additional square footage.

Before voting, the board discussed delaying the TMS project, wondering if project cost would go down with time. However, the Headwaters representatives said costs will likely increase. The additions to TMS include four classrooms and additional PE space — changes that were deleted during its initial construction 10 years ago. Those additions would have cost $1.5 million then, roughly half of the amount in the GMP approved by the board Monday.

With these projects on track, Teton School District 401 has done what voters approved – to create and renovate buildings that will increase student safety, meet long-term educational needs, and serve our growing community for decades to come.