Archive for Thursday, April 9, 2009

School bond bids come in lower than expected

Board of Education set to approve bids at Monday’s meeting

Architect's rendering of what the new ball field complex will look like when completed.

Architect's rendering of what the new ball field complex will look like when completed.

April 9, 2009

Architect's sketches of the new practice track and field facility north of Baldwin High School. The BHS soccer field will fit inside the track.

Architect's sketches of the new practice track and field facility north of Baldwin High School. The BHS soccer field will fit inside the track.

Architect's sketches of the Baldwin Junior High School corridor and roof renovations.

Architect's sketches of the Baldwin Junior High School corridor and roof renovations.

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.”

Comments

Bloggerboo 5 years, 7 months ago

Hmmm...competitve, low-cost bids and we're helping stimulate the economy by keeping a few people working. And we get desperately needed new facilities for the school district and community. Sounds like a win-win-win. Torch, where are you to bring me down? Please get on here and re-tell how this town will implode because the bond issue passed. Nancy, you too...everyone's welcome to join the bash parade.

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Torch 5 years, 7 months ago

I didn't say the town would implode. I said it was stupid to get into debt on the verge of a recession. And guess what? The recession hit and it's going to continue to get worse.

I'm glad you can glibly spend other peoples' money on frivolous projects. I would choose otherwise. In my criticism of this ignorance I stated that there were portions of the bond I supported, but in unstable economic times it was ridiculous to throw all of this money at un-necessary projects.

And Bloggerboo I hate to tell you this but the worst of this recession isn't over. Plus your grandchildren will still be paying for this bond. Oh...and don't forget that before this one is paid off there will be another - maybe two - in order to maintain what hasn't even been built yet.

So yeah...you're stimulating the economy alright - with money taken from someone else. You know - money they would have spent as they saw fit stimulating the economy in their own way. This money you're spending isn't magical. It didn't just appear out of thin air. It's being taken from the pockets of many in tough economic times and being spent on luxury items. We didn't NEED baseball fields. We didn't NEED a practice track. We didn't NEED the Cooper Performing Arts Center for 3 concerts a year. Prudence would dictate caution when the country is on the verge of economic crisis. Not in Baldwin though.

But it's way to early to determine who was right and who was wrong. You're pretty happy throwing money around right now because it's out there filling the Baldwin banks. Time will tell, and it's going to get a lot harder and more expensive. In the meantime be a good liberal and laugh and jump around and be excited that you're spending everyone else's money. Good times.

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NanCrisp 5 years, 7 months ago

All right, be glad to bring you down. The people we will be keeping in jobs will be illegal or questionable aliens from south of the US border. They tend to send most of their pay to families in foreign countries, so no economic stimulus there. The companies who employ them will either be trying to fly under the radar of State and Federal tax laws in order to turn a profit on the lowball job, or they will lose their shirts trying to do a lowball job and make ends meet if they take their obligations seriously. Last year, because everyone thought construction companies should be "hungry," our company reported a loss for the first time in ten years of business and our pie chart shows what happened: Our cost of materials skyrocketed from about 35% of gross sales to 47% of gross sales. I.E.- it costs more to purchase the materials that go into a construction job than your customers think they should have to pay. So it comes out of your own skin. I don't know about you, but I hate to see someone work his butt off (literally) doing actual physical labor all year long and end up having made zero for his efforts. So I'm just so glad everyone's a winner here!

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p_zinzer 5 years, 7 months ago

So does that mean the money that was "saved" from the bids can now be actually spent to fund the necessary items that the Board purposely neglected to put in the bid to begin with (i.e. the Elm Street improvements). If this is indeed what happens you can say we were all lucky. I say this was an enormous risk perpetrated on the residents of this fine City by people that full-well knew better.

And I agree with Torch that the items to be funded are luxuries. All y'all that say our students deserve the latest in color fashions for their modern berber-carpeted classrooms can go pound sand. I went to school in a utilitarian building that didn't have air conditioning or carpet (preferred by the janitor since it made it easier to clean up the puke using the pink sawdust). I did just fine and even liked to enjoy the outdoors because it was cooler than inside.

Little Kaitlyn and her friend Katelin and her other friend Katielyn and her other friend Kaytelin and her other friend Trystyn will be just fine too. It's amazing if you actually subject kids to the real world, it's almost as if they turn out to be more resilient people.

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Bloggerboo 5 years, 7 months ago

LOL! There they all are! Even P_Z gets in on the act. Whoo hoo. Way to go ladies and gentelmen.

And special lolcatz to Nancrisp who knows that the only people working on this project will be illegal aliens.

Hats off to you three. All I have ever heard related to the bond issue is good news from the district. But you guys can spin this into the most dreaded deed ever done did. Huzzah!

I can imagine how smug you all feel sitting at your little computers raining down your own special version of hell on everyone. No team players here. No "we're not certain of your decisions Mr. Dorathy, but we'll get behind you anyway to give you your shot at turning this district around." Nope, won't have any of that. It just won't do.

I would pity you pitiful people, but on second thought, no. You've had ample opportunity to get behind the school district but instead you treat everything they do with disdain and a condescending attitude. I am certain you three know all about running a school district and would have no problem running it perfectly...how come no one listens to you? What a shame.

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p_zinzer 5 years, 7 months ago

So Bloggerboo, are you in effect saying that it would be OK for the people in the know to have purposely withheld information about the true costs of the bond-funded project because their actions were done with the intention of helping the school district? I want to make sure I understand properly what you are saying.

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Bloggerboo 5 years, 7 months ago

p_zinzer, do tell about the withheld information? I can't wait to hear this. So far, Mr. Dorathy has been one of the most open, transparent administrators I have ever met.

For the record, of course I wouldn't support anyone withholding information, and I fail to see where, in any of my posts, I ever posited such a ridiculous thought.

What I do find ridiculous is anyone who doesn't get behind this now that the public has spoken and agreed with Mr. Dorathy and the school board. What good does it possibly do to spout all this doom and gloom about the economy, both local and national, when it doesn't matter one iota, as far as the bond issue is concerned. BC ciitizens voted for it, we will be getting good deals on the projects we produce, so let's get on with it. It doesn't hurt to support Mr. Dorathy until he shows us he is incapable of leading this ship. So far, he is no where close to incapable and has done an admirable job in my estimation.

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p_zinzer 5 years, 7 months ago

OK, so how come the Board is now coming hat-in-hand to the City Council and the Planning Commission asking them to have the City pay for any planned improvements that will be required for the Elm Street extension? The Board full well knew about these requirements prior to issuance of the bond. How come they didn't increase the amount of the bond to cover these known costs?

I'll tell you why. Because they would have lost enough additional votes that the bond issue wouldn't have passed. Do remember, my dear BB, that 46% of the voters rejected the balance measure. It wouldn't have taken many voters to have changed their opinion for it to have swung the other direction.

Instead, they decided to go for a lower dollar amount in order to get it passed, even though they knew that it was underfunded and would then try to ask the City residents to pay for the additional cost, rather than spreading the cost to all the members of the district. I call that dishonest. Apparently you call it open and transparent.

pz

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NanCrisp 5 years, 7 months ago

"No team players here"

Let's see if the school district will be a team player and insist on using local subs for all of the work. That's the only way to insure, my dear BB, that local workers will be the ones doing this work. Apparently, you didn't notice who was doing all the work on the recent downtown project.

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NanCrisp 5 years, 7 months ago

"You've had ample opportunity to get behind the school district but instead you treat everything they do with disdain and a condescending attitude. I am certain you three know all about running a school district and would have no problem running it perfectly…how come no one listens to you?"

Try not to make it so obvious who you are, BB. No one listens to us except the other 49% of voters who voted AGAINST this bond issue. Please don't EVER forget that this initiative was approved by a hairline margin, especially when you consider how many Baker students voted who will neither have to pay the taxes nor have children in this school district.

I, for one, am not about to let school district pushers try to strong-arm the whole community into buying into everything they want with no questions asked. As an owner of beaucoup (that's French, Phyllis) property in this town it is my civil right and civic duty to ensure that my tax dollars aren't all spent in one basket or in frivolous ways.

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notajayhawk 5 years, 7 months ago

What I do find ridiculous is anyone who doesn't get behind this now that the public has spoken ...

This bond issue was heavily pushed as being for the purpose of replacing the poor old, ancient, crumbling, grossly inadequate primary center. That's why a lot of people voted for it, not for new ball fields and a practice track.

In looking back at some of your comments on other topics, Bloggerboo, I can't help but wonder why you haven't 'gotten behind' our new president now that the people have spoken...

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Bloggerboo 5 years, 7 months ago

I am fully supportive of President Obama. I hope he succeeds in turning the economy around. However, would I do it the way he has chosen to? Probably not. But, I don't have to agree with all of his decisions, but I won't sit here and mock him relentlessly in his early days on the job.

But, your point isn't even a very good one. Local politics and education are a far different and much more personal venue than national and international politics. Some of the biting, personal criticism leveled at those who are trying to develop Baldwin into a first class educational opportunity for current and future residents is ridiculous, hurtful, and unnecessary. Case in point: Torch. I have yet to hear Torch agree with anything done by this school district, whether it be this administration, or the previous. He apparently hates everything about USD 348, and so, I accept none of his comments as anything other than complete jibberish from a rambling, egotistical fool. When you can come on here and use logic and reason, I am a lot more likely to consider your opinions and statements. When all you do is bash and hurt good people...I don't give a damn what you say.

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oldschool 5 years, 7 months ago

I, for one, am thrilled about the new ballparks. Our great town has been getting by with the old, poorly planned, makeshift fields for 25+ years. Let's quit complaining and get excited. Hopefully roads, sidewalks and parking will be in the "phase 2" plan.

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