CNCC board approves added $60,000 expense

Funds for changes to new campus's water system

By the numbers

Upgrade to water system on Colorado Northwestern Community College's new Craig campus

• About $11,000: Estimated cost for extra and upgraded pipe

• More than $23,000: Cost for 18 additional valves

• About $20,000: Estimated cost to install five more fire hydrants in campus's northwest quadrant

• $60,000: Maximum amount CNCC board agreed to pay for change order for water system upgrades.

• Almost $88,000: Money currently in CNCC's reserve fund for future projects, which will cover change order cost.

— Pipe, valves and hydrants cost money.

In Colorado Northwestern Community College's case, additional pipes, valves and hydrants at its new Craig campus site could cost as much as $60,000.

At its monthly meeting Monday night, the Colorado Northwestern Community College board received word that a change order, or added expense, is on the horizon.

Last week, Anson Excavating & Pipe broke ground at the future Craig campus site west of town. Crews are scheduled to install infrastructure for the site, including water, sewer and electrical lines, for a career technical building and a residence hall.

But, one of those systems needs some tweaking.

Projections from a hydraulic model and discussions with Craig Fire/Rescue officials indicates that, as planned now, the water system won't provide enough flow to fire hydrants on the site.

CNCC's owner's representative, Diversified Consulting Solutions, offered a plan.

In a recent letter to the board, Dan Giroux, a DCS consultant, said installing more and larger pipe and more fire hydrants on the site is the answer.

While this approach may seem counterintuitive, Giroux explained that hydrants lose more pressure per square inch when they are bearing maximum loads.

Each building on the site must have a required amount of water pressure available to it in case of a fire. Adding hydrants to the system will be beneficial, Giroux said, because it will distribute the water to more outlets, thereby reducing the load each hydrant has to bear.

New hydrants will be concentrated in the site's northwest quadrant, Giroux said, adding that portion of the new campus is farthest away from the city's water system.

Under the new water system plan, CNCC would spend an estimated $11,000 for extra and upgraded pipe, more than $23,000 for 18 additional valves and around $20,000 for five more fire hydrants.

Before beginning Phase 1 infrastructure work on the site, City Engineer Bill Earley "felt comfortable with where we were at and what we were going to do to give us the go-ahead to start the construction," Gene Bilodeau, CNCC Craig campus dean, said at the meeting.

The new water system is passing through the city's hydraulic model. Giroux said he expects to hear today or Thursday whether the system passes city and fire department standards.

In the meantime, four CNCC board members voted unanimously to approve a change order of as much as $60,000 for the upgrade.

The vote gives Ray DuBois, CNCC board president, and board member Jim Loughran the authority to sign off on the change order when its exact amount is known.

The board will use money from its reserve fund for future projects, which currently holds almost $88,000.

Looking ahead

Phase 1 of the project still is under its $1.2 million projected budget, due in part to a bid from Anson that came in lower than expected, Bilodeau said.

Anson bidded $964,913 for the project. Another $60,000 would increase that cost to $1,024,913.

And changes to the water system won't affect Anson's work at the future campus right away.

Anson crews still have nine weeks to complete grading on the site, Giroux said, adding that materials needed for upgrades account for only 15 percent of the entire project's materials.

But, DuBois said he hopes this will be the last change order the board will have to approve.

Authorizing continual change orders is "how $2 million projects turn into $4 million projects," he said.

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