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Renovation of school delayed

The demolition of Boulder City High School was supposed to start when students were out for the summer, but a bill in the Nevada Legislature will push the start of the project back a few months.

According to Jim McIntosh, Clark County School District’s chief financial officer, the new measure, Assembly Bill 172, means school construction projects must be bid using prevailing wages, a law that was not in effect when the Boulder City High School project was bid on in March.

Prevailing wages are calculated through the state labor commissioner based on surveys of contractors, he said. It includes a base hourly wage and benefits.

Under AB172, workers on public school and college campus projects would receive 90 percent of the prevailing wage determined by the commissioner. The bill was passed June 1, the final day of the Legislature’s biennial session.

AB172 repealed Senate Bill 119, which exempted the school district from having to pay prevailing wages on public works projects, McIntosh said.

Under AB172, however, the school district does not have to pay prevailing wages on projects that cost less than $250,000. Charter schools are still exempt under the new bill.

Demolition of Boulder City High School’s 65-year-old campus was scheduled to begin Monday, with the 300 building and two-thirds of the 200 building expected to be knocked down once the new school year started in August.

However, the law change means the $16.4 million project must be rebid on before any work can begin. According to school district spokeswoman Michelle Booth, bids are expected to be opened July 16.

“A requirement was that you had to meet a prevailing wage status, and when we bid it, we didn’t have that requirement,” Booth said. “We expect the project to begin in September or October.”

McIntosh said the new law affected other projects the district was working on, but demolition of Boulder City High School was one of the biggest.

Boulder City High was selected for a phase replacement in 2003 after talks of a one-time replacement fell through, McIntosh said. The district approved $36.5 million for a new gym and library at the school as part of the 1998 bond program.

The voter-approved program allowed the district to borrow money for various school improvements in Clark County, but as the bond ended in 2008, Boulder City was left without the money to cover the three remaining phases it was promised.

In October, the school board approved $16.4 million to fund the new classrooms as part of the school’s second phase.

Even with demolition delayed until the fall, district officials are confident the classrooms will still be completed by the beginning of the 2016-17 school year.

“We were hoping to demo the building during the summertime, now it looks like demolition will occur during the school year,” McIntosh said. “We are pretty confident that we will still open Boulder City High School on time.”

Contact reporter Steven Slivka at sslivka@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow @StevenSlivka on Twitter.

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