BESPC bids come in $1.3 million under budget
Good news came in the form of low bond issue project bids for the Baldwin School Board Monday night.
The school board unanimously approved the recommended bids at its special meeting Monday. Those bids for the new Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center came in way under budget.
To be exact, the new BESPC is $1.3 million under its projected $14.6 million budget, according to the report given by Gabe Henshaw of Manning Construction.
“I’m not really surprised at all in this economy,” Henshaw said of the bids. “We revised our budget and we were pretty accurate on our estimates. We’re just very happy we can provide the school district a little extra school for a little less money.”
Dirt work has begun on the BESPC site, which is located east of Lawrence Street and south of Elm Street. The bids approved Monday were basically for the rest of the project. However, the painting and asphalt projects will be rebid, by recommendation of Henshaw.
The largest bid of the school was a combination bid for $4,412,000 by Altmar. The bid covered concrete, masonry, structural and miscellaneous steel and carpentry work. The other approved combination bid came in at $944,000 by Saladino for plumbing and finish grading and utilities. The nine other bids on other parts of the project were also well under budget.
“We’ve never seen this kind of combo bidding ever,” Henshaw said Monday night. “It’s extraordinary that we have two sets of combo bids that worked.”
He also said Manning Construction is hoping to finish the new school by August 2010.
“We’re hopeful that we can get the school open by the fall period next year,” Henshaw said. “Starting the dirt work early has helped, but unfortunately we’ve been blessed with a little rain.”
At the meeting, the school board had a lengthy discussion about an alternate bid for extra parking at the new BESPC. The rest of the parking lot has 131 stalls and the additional area would add 32 spots.
Henshaw told the board the additional parking on the north end of the lot would cost $43,729 now or around $66,000 later.
“I think it’s something that we’ll look at in five years and regret, if we don’t do it,” said Board Member Ande Parks.
Board Member Scott Lauridsen shared a different opinion.
“Remember, we also have a street we need to build,” Lauridsen said. “If it was my money, I’d do it. But it’s not my money.”
The board went on to discuss how much parking there is at the Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate Center and how much might be needed at the new ball fields. Board President Alison Bauer was concerned about the amount of parking the Baldwin City Planning Commission wanted at the complex.
“They were concerned about parking at the ball fields,” Bauer said. “When I visited schools that have been built in the area, people are never sorry they built for more parking than they needed. They are always glad to have more. So right now, while we’re receiving such attractive bids and this cost is so low, I feel like we should go ahead with the extra parking.”
In the end, the board approved the alternate with a 5-0 vote. One alternate that was rejected was the additional surface spray for the track. It would have cost $49,429, but was unanimously voted down by the board.
“I cannot justify the cost for only adding two to three years to its life,” Board Member Blaine Cone said.
In other news from the meeting, Henshaw said the new Performing Arts Center might not be bid until December because of the design process. He also said they are hoping to get bids on the street extension from Bullpup Drive to Elm Street in the next 60 days. The street extension cost is projected to be $1.2 million, which was not a part of the $22.9 million bond issue.