Project bids awarded

LAKEVILLE — During a meeting last night, the Union-North School Board approved the awarding of bids for the LaVille Elementary School project.
Bonds for the $4.2 million project will be offered for sale today.
Superintendent Terry Bar-ker made the recommendation to hold the project at the $4.2 million cost, but did indicate that there were other improvements that could have been made within the project.
Barker said upgrades such as those for fresh air supply are not absolutely necessary and that he didn’t feel the community should bear the burden of raising the price tag to $4.6 million.
“I’m looking at the community, too,” he said. “For me common sense says, at this time, let’s hold off.”
Board member David Grenert questioned whether eliminating some of the recommended improvements was wise. ”I’ve think you’ve said in the past, let’s do it right,” Grenert said. “Ten years from now, I don’t want people to say, ‘Why it wasn’t done right?’”
Barker replied, “Doing it right doesn’t mean you have to do a lot of extras.”
Barker explained that they had alternates in the project that could have been incorporated if the bids had come in lower, and said in three or four years, they may have to look at other improvements again.
“It won’t cost an arm and a leg, but maybe just an additional arm down the road,” Barker said. However, he did defend the approved awards, even though the bids did not add up to the total: “$4.2 gives us a little bit more for contingencies. There are always things that could come along.”
Barker added, “The bids did come in lower than we expected.”
Scott Cherry of Skillman Corpor-ation said, “We’re in a real strange time for construction. We are in a flux time.”
Skillman Corporation will provide construction management services for the project. The main part of the project includes a new boiler. Barker had told the board at an earlier meeting that the elementary school only has one working boiler at this time. The project includes upgrades to the fire alarm system as well. Awards were accepted for earth works, general trades, interior finishes, mechanical, and electrical.
The bond total allows for the payment of a BAN loan, architectural fees and construction management fees. Other fees included are for legal representation by Kenneth Lukenbill, Ice Miller and Barnes and Thornburg. The legal fees total approximately $142,000.
In the end, the vote was 4-0 in approval.
Board member Rob Swathwood was absent from the meeting.