NH awards $5.2 million for elementary upgrade
After much discussion and crunching numbers, the board of trustees of the North Harrison Community School Corp. approved awarding the bid for the elementary school project to the second lowest bidder.
The decision to award the North Harrison Elementary School project to Parco Construction Inc. in Louisville was made Thursday evening during a special meeting by the board.
Parco’s base bid of $5.2 million was $736,000 higher than the low bidder, Badgett Constructors LLC, Louisville. Badgett had asked to withdraw its bid, citing a clerical error.
Mark Shireman, construction manager, said the lower bidders’ prices were ‘pretty close’ to what had been estimated. He also said that if Badgett had submitted its bid correctly, Parco may have actually been the low bidder.
Based on current interest rates, which North Harrison Supt. Monty Schneider termed as ‘favorable,’ the school trustees had enough financial resources available to include some of the alternates as part of the upgrade.
Parco was involved in the original building of the elementary school, Shireman said, while providing a little history about the company.
The trustees discussed their options, which included awarding the bid to Badgett. Shireman said Badgett may or may not have decided to sign the contract and could forfeit five percent of its bid, amounting to about $225,000, but most of the actions taken by Badgett could have resulted in a costly court battle.
Trustee Gary Byrne, who has vocally supported demolishing the existing elementary school and starting from scratch, asked how much it would cost to scrap the project.
Shireman estimated the school corporation would be out at least $592,500 for fees owed to RQAW and Performance Services, firms which have spent considerable time on drawings and other work leading up to the actual construction.
When it came time to vote on awarding the bids, Byrne voted against the motion to let Parco do the work. The other four trustees ‘ Buddy Bosler, Bobby Chinn, Ron Coleman and Fred Naegele ‘ voted in favor of the motion.
Byrne has indicated he believes a new school can be built for a little more than the renovation project will cost.
‘I want it put on the record that it’s a lot closer to $20 million (by the time all costs are included) … and I still say there’s some wasted space back in the classrooms,’ he said.
Chinn responded by saying that new construction would probably be more material intensive than adding to the existing structure.
The existing elementary school is 64,775 square feet. Once the renovation project is complete, it will be 98,310 square feet. That includes adding a second story for additional classrooms.
The board also decided to proceed with several of the alternates, including renovating the administrator’s office to allow a better view of the west parking lot and the school’s main entrance, cutting down the concrete planter at the entrance to allow a better view of people entering and exiting the building, and finishing the second-story classrooms. That brings the ‘hard’ cost of the project to $9.4 million.
The difference between what the school corporation advertised for the project and the bids they awarded ‘ about $1 million ‘ will be added to the contingency fund, which can be used for several things, including technology.