The Temple ISD school board on Monday approved the $7.3 million guaranteed maximum price for renovations to the historic Meridith-Dunbar Early Childhood Academy discussed last week.

The guaranteed maximum price covers construction costs only, as the total budget for improvements is set at $9 million.

These enhancements will complete campus renovations, which initially began with 2011 bond funds, will also see mechanical, electrical and plumbing upgrades. American Constructors — a construction company based in Cedar Park — will begin the project in March.

“So much of that is original to the facility from the ‘50s, so we’re going to be replacing a lot of those items between the walls,” Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations Kent Boyd said.

Students and staff will transition into temporary facilities next year, while renovations are underway. The district will be renting these “pods” from Mobile Modular — a Livermore-based company from California. Some units will feature 10 classrooms and bathrooms, Boyd said.

“We will be able to touch the entire campus and give it the best upgrade that it’s had in I don’t know how many years,” Superintendent Dr. Bobby Ott said. “We’ve received a lot of positive feedback on the auditorium when it was renovated. The residents spoke the most during the passing of the bond process … People wanted to see Meridith-Dunbar renovated, relevant and preserved.”

The 14-month project is expected to be completed in August 2021.