School bond bids come in lower than expected
Board of Education set to approve bids at Monday’s meeting
As expected, construction bids for the Baldwin School District’s November Bond Issue projects have come in bunches and competitively priced.
Bids for two of the four projects came in last week. Supt. Paul Dorathy announced them at the bond issue committee meeting. The bids came in for the Baldwin Junior High School renovations and the two athletic complexes. The new Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center and auditorium are months from being put out for bid.
All in all, the district received more than 70 bids for 14 different phases of the two projects.
“It was very competitive,” Dorathy said. “A lot of companies bid. The bids should come out in really good shape. Those projects will be completed much quicker than the other two big projects, which we still have to bid. It looks like those other projects will probably go to bid in July.”
Dorathy said the bids are currently unqualified, which means they have to be approved by the construction management company. He said the bids have to meet all of the specifications, be bonded bids and meet several other requirements to become qualified.
Manning Construction, the construction management company hired by the district, has been working on that this week so the Baldwin School Board will have qualified bids to vote on at Monday’s meeting.
“On Monday night, we’ll know exactly what it turns out to be,” Dorathy said. “We will have the qualified bids from our construction management company. They will be working on that all of this week. They have a lot of things to check with all of those companies.
“As of right now, the unqualified bids have come in pretty good,” he said. “They are under budget at this point, so we’ll be looking at those at Monday’s meeting. The school board will be accepting the qualified bids that night.”
The bids for the BJHS renovations broke down like this: electrical (7), mechanical and structural steel (6), roofing (6), carpentry (3), painting (2) and one combination bid.
The bids for the athletic complexes, which include two new baseball fields, two new softball fields and a new practice track, broke down like this: site work (9), electrical (8), concrete (7), asphalt base for track (6), fencing (6), track surfacing (3), carpentry (2), sports fields (2), mechanical (2) and two other combination bids.
Dorathy also said there might be a brief update on the other two bond projects, but they are still in the design phase.
“We’re still working on the design phase for the early childhood center and it’s probably running a little bit ahead of the performing arts center,” Dorathy said. “The performing arts center might be the last thing we bid. Right now, we are still in the preliminary stages of the design phase of the performing arts center. One of the big things for those two projects is how much the FEMA grant will help. That takes a lot of design to keep it within budget.
“It is beneficial to the school district and the taxpayers to have those bids come in under budget,” he said. “It gives our board the opportunity to make good decisions about either adding things to the projects or not selling as many bonds as planned. It’s helpful to all of us to have those come in under budget. We’re trying to get bids out as quickly as possibly, but doing due diligence to design and making sure that’s correct.”