Costs for new schools aren’t just about brick and mortar.
After a new school is built, it has to be filled with stuff, like desks, chairs, tables, filing cabinets, flags and flag holders, lawn mowers, vacuum cleaners, library books and more.
The Tooele County School District has budgeted $1.35 million each for furniture, fixtures and equipment for both Old Mill and the new Sterling Elementary School buildings, according to Steve West, the school district’s director of construction.
“We’ve built a lot of schools and we have learned by experience that it takes about 11 percent of a building’s construction cost to cover the cost of everything that goes into a building,” he said.
Everything means furniture, janitorial equipment, computers, smart boards, phone system, wi-fi infrastructure, library books, curriculum supplies, and every little thing all the way down to pencil sharpeners and toilet paper, according to West.
West said he and Old Mill Elementary Principal Shanz Leonelli are working together to order furniture, fixtures and equipment the two new schools will need.
The Tooele County School Board approved a bid for furniture for the two new school buildings at their April 11 meeting.
Included on the list are 1,543 chairs of various styles and sizes, 676 student desks, 112 computer tables, 68 activity tables, 40 teacher desks, 37 half-moon tables, and 39 flags.
The approved furniture bid also includes various stools, magazine racks, lounge chairs and tables, a sick bed, and a laminator.
In addition to the furniture, Old Mill Elementary School will be outfitted with 41 Promethean LED Touch Panel Boards, one for each classroom, the library, the community room and one for each of the two computer labs, according to Leonelli.
The Touch Panel Boards are the replacement technology for smart boards currently used in classrooms. They don’t require a projector to put an image on the board. The Touch Panel Boards can also be written on like a whiteboard with a stylus or finger, according to Leonelli.
Other technology planned for Old Mill Elementary include a wi-fi hub for each classroom, 72 desk top computers for the computer labs, 48 desk top computers for classrooms, office, library, lunchroom, and staff use, and 148 Lenovo Think Pads for student use — 4 for each classroom.
The furniture will arrive June 1, according to West.
“That gives us something to push the contractors with,” he said. “We tell them we have a train coming and it’s going to be here on June 1.”
The contract with the suppliers calls for the supplier to unload, set up, and haul away any packaging material, according to West.
“For instance, the desks come in boxes,” he said. “So the supplier unloads the boxes, takes out the desks and puts them together and then they haul away the boxes.”
Some furniture and fixtures from the former Harris and East Elementary buildings may end up in the new Sterling Elementary, while some furniture from the older buildings will end up in other school buildings in the district, according to West.
“For example we will take all of the classroom amplification systems out of Harris and use them in other classrooms,” he said.
“We have a pretty good list of what is needed for each building,” West said. “With our experience we usually don’t have a problem forgetting to order something. The problem is when something we have ordered doesn’t arrive on time.”
Old Mill Elementary is expected to open with the start of school this fall. The school district anticipates that the new building for Sterling Elementary will be ready to open later this fall.