FORKS — Visitors to Quillayute Valley School District’s new Spartan Stadium this fall can sit on its shiny new aluminum bleachers and purchase tickets with their cell phones, but until the new restroom is built they will still need to use porta potties or facilities at Forks High School.
The restroom is the central feature of Phase II of the district’s stadium project that — along with replacing the fence around the perimeter of the property and completing the paving — is in the design planning stage. Whether work moves ahead or not will depend a great deal on resolving its cost.
Like the stadium, which will debut in a ribbon-cutting ceremony April 14, the new restroom will be funded with timber dollars and grants, including a $350,000 youth facility grant the district received from the state. Funds for the fencing will come from the district’s EP&O (Educational Programs and Operations) levy.
The 900-square foot building will be located near the north end of the stadium property and have a women’s restroom with six stalls, a men’s restroom with two stalls and four urinals and a small storage area for track and field equipment.
In design and materials it will match the stadium’s new ticket booth.
“It’s pretty basic,” Quillayute Valley School District Superintendent Diana Reaume said.
Complicating the project is its price tag of $1.4 million. BLRB Architects principal Bob Lindstrom spoke to the school board at its Feb. 13 special meeting about the firm’s proposal for Phase II, that included deliverables, tasks and scope of work. (BLRB also designed part of the new high school that opened in 2012 and Spartan Stadium.)
Board members at their March 27 meeting expressed concern over the high cost and BLRB’s architecture and engineering fee of $145,000.
Lindstrom explained in a telephone interview Friday that the pre-COVID cost estimate of $740,000 did not include contractor markups.
“The real bottom line number once a contractor were to bid it and build it back in the 2020 would have been $1.2 million,” Lindstrom said.
The increase was due to a number of factors affecting the entire construction industry, he said.
“What we’re experiencing in the marketplace is unprecedented,” Lindstrom said. “Inflation, lack of labor, supply chains. Contractors can’t get materials, anything from block to glass to door frames. It can take up to 50 weeks to get some of these items.”
BLRB determines its fee using a schedule from the Washington State Office of Financial Management that’s based on the project’s maximum allowable construction cost. The district could negotiate with BLRB to lower its fee — in this case, 10.01 percent of the project’s cost.
Reaume said the district had already started making changes to the restroom to reduce costs, such as switching from a metal roof to three-tab shingles. It will continue working with BLRB on cost-savings that will not compromise the structure’s quality and durability.
“We go through those numbers as best we can to say ‘here’s where you can cut,’” Lindstrom said. “I get it, the numbers are upsetting. I don’t like them, no one really likes them and we’re doing what we can to do what we call ‘value engineer’.”
According to its proposal, the very latest BLRB can deliver the final plans for Phase II is April 27, but Lindstrom said the goal was to have them ready before then to speed along the process.
Cost overruns during construction of the new stadium contributed to its price increasing $2.6 million to $3.2 million. Delays related to bad weather and the availability and delivery of materials caused the date of its opening to be pushed back three times from October to March.
If the board approves the amended plans for the restroom and all goes well, the project could be put out to bid in mid-May with construction starting sometime in July. As for when the restroom will have its own debut, Reaume said that the experience with the stadium had taught her to be very conservative when it came to making predictions.
“Knowing what we know now, by December 31,” she said.
Reporter Paula Hunt can be reached at Paula.Hunt@soundpublishing.com