Extra money sought for school project NORTH COUNTY--Linthicum * Ferndale * Brooklyn Park * Pumphrey

August 20, 1993|By John Rivera | John Rivera,Staff Writer

County Executive Robert R. Neall has asked the County Council for an additional $520,000 to cover last-minute changes to the soon-to-be completed North County High School.

Work on the $17 million project, which converted the former Lindale Junior High School in Ferndale into a building for 1,600 high school students, is running about two weeks behind schedule, county government and school officials acknowledged.

But they still hope the classrooms will be ready by the first day of classes Sept. 7.

"Certainly there is a lot to be done up there, but we're planning to have it done by the time we've committed to," said Ralph Luther, director of operations and maintenance for the school system. "If we get a little cooperation from the weather and the contractor continues to move along, I believe we're going to be OK."

The renovation project has taken 10 1/2 months. The entire conversion project, which included site preparation and construction of athletic fields, took two years.

A new auditorium also is under construction, but will not be completed until the end of November. Construction was delayed by an accident in April in which a boom on a crane crashed into the auditorium's frame and crushed it.

County budget analyst Gregory Nourse said the additional $520,000 the county is requesting would be placed in a contingency account to cover the last-minute change orders that come with any construction or renovation project.

Mr. Nourse said that although the county does not expect the changes to cost the entire amount, they will use up a good portion of it.

The money would come from several sources, including $400,000 from the county's budget surplus, $50,000 from unappropriated energy rebates and $50,000 from unappropriated interest income.

The council is scheduled to hold a public hearing and a vote on the appropriation at its meeting Sept. 7. Because it is an emergency ordinance, the money would become available immediately after Mr. Neall signs the bill.

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