106°F
weather icon Clear

School district brokers $25M contract for new Tonopah elementary

Nye County School District trustees will negotiate a $25 million contract with Texas-based CORE Construction to build a new Tonopah Elementary School.

The project has been years in the making, but trustees voted Thursday to proceed with an agreement that will bring the school to fruition.

“I think it’s more than a school building,” Joe Schmidt, director of maintenance/operations, safety/security for the district, said on Thursday. “It’s a commitment” to the Tonopah community.

Behind the delays

While a new school in Tonopah has been talked about since 2015, officials say the current iteration began in May of 2021. Since that time, officials say the project has taken on differing design modalities, shapes and locations on the site.

The pandemic caused financial upheaval in nearly all sectors of the construction industry.

Financial constraint coupled with unstable inflation predictions not only caused delay, officials said, but it necessitated every efficiency that could be mustered.

Budget matters

In early 2023, when the decision was made to move some of the labor off site by utilizing a modular mode of construction, and to adjust the location of the building, the project became feasible. All aspects of the program were achievable and the project is expected to remain within budgetary parameters.

“What we have is a project within our budget,” Schmidt said.

Elements of the new school will be built mostly offsite by manufacturers in a controlled-setting warehouse and then trucked to Tonopah to be assembled there, officials say, saving the district millions in labor costs, materials and time on a project that would otherwise likely be delayed by weather.

The pre-fabricated modules look like “regular construction” and have steel-framed bodies, Schmidt told the board in May 2023, adding that some school districts in northern California have used the approach to keep construction costs down there.

The project is expected to relocate the town’s elementary school from Idaho Circle to a 5.5-acre site at 1 Ray Tennant Drive near the high school.

The move will essentially create a centralized academic campus in Tonopah, serving pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade students. Preliminary renderings of the new Tonopah Elementary call for a playground in the back of the facility, two parking lots, and a bus drop-off lane. It’s also expected to include a library, along with nine classrooms for pre-K through fifth-grade students, and separate classrooms for art, music and special education instruction.

General Contractor CORE Construction is the No. 2 builder of schools in the country.

Las Vegas-based Knit Studios is the architect of the project.

Trustees voted unanimously on Thursday, with board chair Bryan Wulfenstein abstaining from commenting and voting on the contract.

“I am an active bidder on the project,” disclosed Wulfenstein, who serves as construction manager for Wulfenstein Construction.

THE LATEST
Oil company may buy 200 acres of public land near Tonopah

The oil refinery has leased its land since the ’80s. The project is fueling some concerns about how the burning of fossil fuels is warming the planet.

‘Here we go’: Tonopah coach gets ready for next year

TONOPAH — A retired Nye County Sheriff’s sergeant who traveled the nation has parked his RV in Tonopah once again to coach the Muckers baseball team.

Sportsman’s Quest: The Story Teller

The time of hunting and fishing conventions has come to an end and the hunting guides-outfitters have returned home to prepare for another season. I’m left with my head full of new stories and my sides still aching from laughing at the crazy tales and humorous, if sometimes dangerous, adventures we’ve shared at vendor booths, in the hallways, hotel rooms and yes, while sipping a beverage in the local “watering holes.”

Nye County delays impact fee increases

Hikes to Nye County’s impact fees were set to go into effect this month but officials have authorized a temporary stay on the increases, which now have an effective date of Aug. 13.

JIM BUTLER DAYS: Horseshoes group honors Tonopah founder

Six competitive horseshoe pitchers met in a Nevada town with roughly 2,000 residents and home of the Clown Motel, which is next to a cemetery that dates back to 1901 in Tonopah.

Groundbreaking set for new Tonopah elementary school

A ground-breaking ceremony is set for the construction of the new $25 million Tonopah Elementary School beginning at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 29

Community Narcan dispensers saving lives

More than 80,000 people died in 2021 of an opioid overdose nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control, including prescription opioids, heroin and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. To help counter this trend, Michael Quattrocchi, grant manager at NyECC, and his team have placed four Naloxone dispensers, which look like newspaper vending machines, in Nye County over the past five months.