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story.lead_photo.caption Jefferson City Public Schools officials unveil the mascot name, Cavaliers, for Capital City High School March 23, 2018, following a pep rally held at Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Photo by Mark Wilson / News Tribune.

Jefferson City Public Schools plans to use some savings in the budget for its two high school construction projects to upgrade planned athletic facilities at Capital City High School.

It originally was planned for all athletic fields at CCHS to be for practice only, but the tennis courts will be able to host meets, JCPS Chief Financial and Operating Officer Jason Hoffman said last Monday at the district's Board of Education meeting.

Hoffman explained hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings have been realized in the budget to renovate Jefferson City High School and Capital City High School, and money is now being reallocated to other parts of the projects.

He said $8 million of bond money is set aside for furniture, fixtures and equipment at JCHS and CCHS. Furniture bids for both high schools that came back early in February "came in significantly under budget, and so we were able to reduce that portion of our budget (for furniture) by $725,000," Hoffman said.

At the same time, the high school projects' construction manager, Nabholz Construction, believes "they can release $750,000 of allowances that are built into our guaranteed maximum price," Hoffman said.

Allowances are budgeted to account for unforeseen or extra costs. In the construction manager-at risk model that JCPS selected for its projects, the district is returned any unused allowances.

"That flows into our contingency fees, (so) what that's done is it allowed us to add in things to the scope of our project that are needed but we weren't able to afford prior," Hoffman said.

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The tennis courts at CCHS will be expanded from four courts to eight. The courts also will be lighted, and a viewing pavilion will allow the courts to host tennis meets for CCHS and JCHS — instead of at Jefferson City's Washington Park, Hoffman said.

The baseball, softball and soccer fields at CCHS also will be able to be lit, he said. If one school is playing at Jefferson City's Vivion Field, the other will be able to practice at the same time at CCHS — and both schools will be able to practice on turf in the event of rain.

The savings are also allowing for two areas of JCHS to get a new roof — areas that need repair and could have been put off for a little bit longer but now can be included in the renovation, Hoffman added.

"We still have $900,000 of contingency (funds) that we still control," he said.

Nabholz has said while winter has not been great, unless something big happens, the district may see more allowances coming its way, Hoffman added.

The high school projects are on time, if not a little bit ahead of schedule, he said.