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Construction manager sought to rebuild Mollie Ray Elementary in West Orange

Mollie Ray Elementary is the latest Orange County school to be scheduled for a full makeover.
Mollie Ray Elementary is the latest Orange County school to be scheduled for a full makeover.

Orange County public schools are providing a wellspring of construction work this year, with the latest project out for bid Mollie Ray Elementary School.

The education department is looking for a construction manager at risk for what school officials hope will be a total tear down and rebuild of a 74,535-square-foot multi-building complex, at a cost of $16.1 million.

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A construction manager at risk holds the subcontractor and vendor contracts, taking on the financial risk of the project by providing the owner with a guaranteed maximum price for construction and a set date for completion, along with a negotiated professional fee -- typically a percentage of the cost of construction -- for the construction management services.

Bids are due Oct. 22 and work is expected to start in June, with plenty of subcontractors being brought on.

While Orange County Public Schools officials are hoping all 10 buildings can be demolished and 17 portable classrooms removed, one building, because of its age, needs approval from the State Department of Education to come down. School officials applied for that permission, called a Castaldi waiver, on Oct. 1. The waiver has to be requested for any building 25 years old or less.

Working from a clean slate at the school is preferable to leaving one building standing because it could make the project less expensive and allow the new school to be like other prototypes that are being built around the district, school spokeswoman Lauren Roth said. Mollie Ray Elementary School is located in Orlando at 2000 Beecher St., east of Pine Hills Road and south of Silver Star Road.

In addition to bringing down buildings, the project calls for demolition of covered walkways, storage and mechanical buildings.

Replacement work involves classrooms, resource/skills labs, art/music areas, administration, a kitchen, dining/multi purpose rooms, support spaces and media center within a new building of about 74,535 square feet.

There will also be new classrooms of roughly 14,045 square feet, and the replacement of a physical education pavilion, as well as toilets and storage.

The Mollie Ray Elementary School opened in 1959 and is one of more than 100 schools that are being replaced or renovated with the half cent tax sales tax that county residents have twice approved.

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Orange County schools being worked on include Ventura Elementary, at 4400 Woodgate Blvd., the first in a multi-year program to do away with so-called portable schools that are made out of trailers.

Three more portable schools will be replaced. They include Meadow Woods Elementary, north of State Road 417 and east of Rhode Island Circle. This project will cost $17.6 million.

Planned for 2018 are William Frangus Elementary, north of Old Winter Garden Road and east of Good Homes Road; and Hidden Oaks Elementary, north of Lee Vista Boulevard and west of State Road 417. Construction costs for these projects are $16.9 million and $16.4 million, respectively.

Osceola County is also taking steps to improve its school system. The county is getting a new high school on N. Boggy Creek Road and has put out bids for a construction manager for the 345,000-square-foot, $75 million project. The high school will be built on a 74-acre site that is also planned to contain a middle school a few years out, as the area contends with significant growth in its population.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at ktalley@growthspotter.com or (407) 420-5176. Follow GrowthSpotter on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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