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School District Five Board approves measure to begin construction on new elementary school

Chapin, SC - Lexington-Richland School District Five is a step closer to construction of its new elementary school in Chapin.

The Board of Trustees voted 6-1 on Sept. 9 on a measure which allows construction to commence on the elementary school on Amicks Ferry Road. The approval of the amendment to the Construction Management (CM) at Risk contract, to include an Early Site Package, came after an update by architects and designers detailing new landscaping required by a county ordinance and other minor design changes. The district’s thirteenth elementary school is slated to open August 2021.

“Approval of the Early Site Package allows the project to move forward before the final design is complete and allows the contractor to accomplish the work in the historically driest months of the year,” said Dan Neal, a construction consultant to the Board. “Proceeding with the Early Site Package will save the school district both project time and project cost.”

The vote “authorized the administration to enter into contracts with the district’s CM at Risk contract for a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) addendum 1 the (Early Site Package) including the kindergarten Pre-K loop for the sum of $3,656,858,” according to a motion made by Board trustee Ed White and seconded by Board trustee Nikki Gardner.

In voting against the amendment, Board trustee Ken Loveless questioned the Early Site Package, expressing concern over roadwork and “much of the site work …to be done on the back end of the project.”

Contractors addressed the concerns, saying the Early Site Package would “lock in” subcontractors to prices for concrete and other materials with volatile pricing. Roadwork, sewer and water would be done at the start of construction while ensuring builders are being “good neighbors” during construction, said Contract Construction President Greg Hughes.

“All those types of activities, we’d like to have in the Early Site Package to give us the flexibility of continuing to perform work. But more importantly it commits the contractor to a price,” said Hughes. “Again, site work is the most volatile number out there. So, we have a site committed number that is under our budgeted estimate, which I think is a big win.”

Several Board members pointed out the record of Contract Construction, which has done work in the district since the early 1990s including construction of Ballentine Elementary School and work to parts of Chapin Middle School and Dutch Fork High School.

“I was impressed that you were ready to say ‘we’ll lock the price in.’ That gives me comfort, particularly knowing you’ve done that before…It says a lot and your history says a lot too” White said, noting that the Chapin Middle School addition was completed under the original price.

On July 17, 2017, the School District Five Board of Trustees approved the purchase of land on Amicks Ferry Road in Chapin. With the approval of the Early Site Package on Sept. 9, 2019, contractors and designers expect work to begin on the site in the next few weeks. For more information on CM at Risk, the project schedule and design and the presentation from the Sept. 9 School Board meeting, visit

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