BAKER — Only four Baker High School buildings will be retained under new restoration plans Tillage Construction presented Tuesday to the School Board.
The remaining six structures will be razed, said Brian LaFleur, an owner of the BJL construction group, which is working with Tillage Construction on the project.
Baker High was damaged during the 2016 flood, and since then, the high school students have been housed at Baker Middle School.
Baker Middle students occupy the Bakerfield Elementary campus; Bakerfield and Baker Heights Elementary are sharing a campus.
“(Baker High) is oversubscribed for space,” LaFleur said about the projected demolitions, clarifying that the decision had less to do with the condition of the buildings than the desire to make the school more efficient.
The construction will allow for the current number of students, 507 as of February, plus an additional 15 percent for growth, he said.
Carraway Hall, which was damaged by a fire in October, is one of the buildings set to be removed.
McConnell Auditorium and the band room behind it, as well as Aertker Hall, will be restored.
A new building will be constructed that will combine labs and a cafeteria, Valesquez Jones, of Tillage Construction, told the board.
The work has hit a setback with the necessity of cutting the budget for the project from $22.7 million to $14 million, a change Jones said had to do with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“They didn’t see what we saw as far as the flood damage,” he said.
Tillage and the school district will continue to work with FEMA to obtain as much money as possible, including 20 percent more for Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, but they have decided to accept the amount FEMA is offering in the interest of keeping the project on track, Jones said.
Even with the delay caused by the revision in the budget, Tillage expects the high school to be ready for students by July 2019.
The design development stage of the project is expected to be complete by Nov. 16.
Tillage expects to begin accepting bids by February 2018 and begin construction in April.
FEMA has approved six project worksheets so far, including remediation for all of Baker High and restoration of McConnell Auditorium.
Baker Heights sustained roof damage during the 2016 flood as well as taking on water. FEMA has approved $338,000 for mold remediation to buildings on that campus.
Baker Heights will receive $182,000 for temporary facilities to house the Bakerfield students.
Some laptops and furniture at Baker Heights was also damaged and FEMA should reimburse that as well, Jones said.
Work on Baker Heights began Monday and should be complete by January.