WILLISTON — A school board meeting was held at the District No. 1 office Tuesday night to discuss the progress with the construction of the new Williston High School.

The update was full of good news as it was reported construction appears to be trending under budget which will allow for some extra amenities for students.

School Board members met with Mike McLean of JLG Architects, and Marc Mellmer of JE Dunn Construction, to go over the progress. The new Williston High School is still tracking on schedule but some decisions had to be made to move forward in the construction of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) building.

With updated renderings of the southeast view of the CTE building, McLean presented the structure with larger windows, a canopy, and ultimately, a greenhouse. Mellmer explained that the same skin will be used on the building to match the school, so it doesn’t look like an independent structure on the campus.

The CTE building was not a part of the bond referendum, but Mellmer said they were still tracking to be able to afford it. They were expecting to trend towards $3.7 million but when a grant came in at $5.3 million, they were able to look again at the construction of the trade building portion.

“Estimates came in less than what was expected,” McLean said. Bids came back for the construction at $5,282,505.

“Even though it is under the total project budget, we still want to do a little leg work and possibly bring down that number a little bit more to make sure it’s exactly what you guys want” Mellmer said.

The greenhouse would put the project over budget but efforts are being made to rework some of the funds to afford the add-on. “Were still tracking under budget without seeking any donations,” said Mellmer. “That’s our goal to carry on down that path which is working well for us so far.”

McLean and Mellmer sought and received approval to move forward with the excavation and concrete work. Feeling confident about the bids that were received, the groundwork will be completed by Knife River Excavation for $181,575 and the concrete work will be through Doyle Hughes Construction at $482,361.


Field turf approved

Another request regarded the sports package, which was bid at $2,538,571. The price includes the sports fields, grandstands, press box and track and field. One of the additions that was hoped to be included was the addition of synthetic turf which came in under $729,133 bringing the total to $3,267,704. To the delight of sports enthusiasts, the board approved it.

The final decision needed was to conduct a traffic study at the current high school. When the construction is completed for the Fall of next year, the old building will be converted into an elementary for 5th and 6th graders to alleviate the burgeoning classroom sizes.

Without bus service in D1, a traffic study will analyze the whole block at peak times and that data can be utilized to facilitate necessary changes to the pickup and drop-off sites. It will also help with decisions that have to be made with altering traffic signs or the parking lots themselves.

“You can never predict what’s going to happen on a project or what contingencies we use, but right now we are sitting very comfortably,” Mellmer concluded.



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