Aylor Replacement Project Update - August 20, 2019

On August 20, 2019, the School Board’s Buildings and Grounds Committee and the full Board received an update on the Robert E. Aylor Middle School Replacement Project. Frederick County Public Schools Supervisor of Construction Kevin Kenney provided an update on the work to design the school and reviewed the site plan.

Assistant Superintendent for Administration Al Orndorff stated the Frederick County Board of Supervisors approved the School Board’s request for a $3.2 million supplemental appropriation for the project on July 10, 2019. The action brought the total project cost to $48,700,000. The additional funds will be used for 12 additional classrooms at the school known as add-alternate one. The School Board approved a $3,200,000 budget adjustment to the School Construction Fund which represents add-alternate one for the Robert E. Aylor Middle School replacement project.

Dr. Orndorff also reviewed the total project budget for the replacement Robert E. Aylor Middle School and noted some of the benefits already realized by using the Construction Management at Risk (CMaR) process for the Aylor project. He noted the General Assembly passed legislation in 2017 which permitted public schools to use CMaR for projects that meet certain standards ($10 million or greater). Dr. Orndorff shared by using CMaR, school staff is able to work collaboratively with an architectural and engineering firm as well as a construction management firm to design a facility while incorporating value engineering, constructability, sustainability and the sequence of construction in order to achieve the most cost-effective guaranteed maximum cost for the facility based upon market conditions. He added that CMaR is a process with a proven record of reducing the length of construction schedules and costs. Dr. Orndorff stated that by having school staff work directly with the architectural and construction management teams, they were able to include the 12 classroom addition for the replacement Aylor Middle School in the preconstruction portion of the CMaR process gaining maximum efficiencies of professional personnel who collaboratively strived to gain maximum student capacity without sacrificing instructional functionality.

Dr. Orndorff also noted that many cuts were made to the replacement Aylor Middle School project due to the limited funding provided by the Frederick County Board of Supervisors. He highlighted the various cuts and their implications. They include:
  • Geothermal system- Although there would be yearly savings in fossil fuel and carbon footprint, the school division could not burden the upfront cost of approximately $900,000 for a geothermal system. Not factoring in inflation, it would take 15 years or less to see the payback on such a system.
  • One art room/studio was cut. A middle school of 850 or more students should have two art rooms/studios in order to accommodate student elective requests.
  • The size of the agriculture and technology education labs was reduced by approximately 1,000 square feet. These labs are referred to as “hard labs” and include high ceilings and specialized environmental systems which include eye wash stations, dust collection, supplemental air filtering and fume exhaust.
  • The auxiliary gym/fitness area was cut from the base design and moved to an add-alternate. The cut totaled approximately 1,713 square feet.
  • The innovation/collaboration space in the learning communities was reduced to a functional minimum. This cut totaled approximately 3,000 square feet.
  • Driveway pavement and sidewalks on the site were reduced to a bare minimum.
  • Diesel and gas fueling will remain at the current Aylor Middle School site with none provided at the replacement Aylor Middle School.
  • Satellite bus parking will remain at the current Aylor Middle School site with none provided at the replacement Aylor Middle School.
Dr. Orndorff added that innovative partnerships and community support generated additional funds to be applied toward the project budget. The partnerships and support included:
  • Water and sewer connection fees were waived as part of the Orchard View Elementary School Well Easement Agreement which provided $321,000 to be reapplied to construction.
  • By agreeing to the placement of a substation on the rear of the property, additional funds were made available and the cost of relocating utility poles was offset (provided in-kind by Rappahannock Electric Cooperative) for a total benefit of $228,000.
  • Staff in the FCPS Planning and Development Office completed the preliminary stream and wetland evaluation, geotechnical studies, topographic survey, plat preparation, environmental site assessment and wetlands delineation which were not included in the project budget.