Work at Corporate Centre Drive nears completion
The work at 801 Corporate Centre Drive in O’Fallon, the new home for Francis Howell Union High School, is almost complete. FHU students will begin the 2022-23 school year in the renovated space. In addition to Union High School, the 801 Corporate facility will house the District Learning Center (DLC), content leaders, disability access services, ADA compliance officers, special education staff and other academic support teams, in addition to District administrators and support staff. Employees working at the DLC , administration building, and other locations within the District will begin moving to their new workspaces next month. Bringing these services all under the same roof will create a more collaborative and efficient working environment for all.
The original Prop S budget in 2018 called for building new facilities for the DLC and Union High School with an estimated construction cost – pre-Covid – of $9M. Given the hefty and unprecedented inflationary increases on materials and supplies, building new in today's market would likely cost $15M or more. The District ultimately decided to purchase an existing facility for $6M to house Union High School and the DLC rather than build new. With the purchase of a facility the size of 801 Corporate came the opportunity to bring additional programs under the same roof, repurpose existing District buildings for other Prop S projects, and reallocate some Prop S dollars. The revised project budget for 801 Corporate - including purchase of the building and renovation costs - was set at $11M. The project has been tightly managed by the project manager and the District Facility and Operations department and is on track to meet the $11M budget.
Repurposing Space for Additional Cost Savings
Work will soon begin to repurpose the current District Administration Building for use by the Transportation Department, which currently is operating in outdated and significantly substandard trailers. The repurposing of the Administration Building for Transportation allows the District to reduce the cost of the Prop S bus garage project since the garage will no longer need to house the administrative functions of the Transportation Department. The District Custodial Department will also be moving into the Administration Building, freeing up the Burbes building which will be utilized by the food service program going forward. This movement will allow the District to discontinue renting a facility for the food service program and funnel those cost savings ($4,300 per month) into food service programs across the District. The existing Francis Howell Union building will be temporarily utilized for warehouse storage, eliminating the immediate need for a new warehouse facility.