Thursday, April 24th, 2014

London City Schools: Bids come in way under budget

London school officials opened bids Jan. 21 for early site work and geothermal wells for the new middle school. The numbers surprised them…in a good way.

Construction experts had estimated the combined cost of the two projects to be $2.3 million. The bids came in much lower than that. Together, the two lowest bids are under the estimate by $597,000.

If the low bids hold up to analysis, they will be recommended to the board of education for approval. The next board meeting is 7 p.m. Feb. 15 in the high school lecture hall.

The district could use the $597,000 to add features back into the overall construction project that were previously cut to make budget, said Superintendent Steve Allen. The project includes construction of the middle school and renovations at the high school. State funds are covering all costs.

Among the possible add-ins are a more comprehensive security system at the high school, a replacement for the high school kitchens 30-year-old dishwasher, and an upgrade to rubber flooring for the new middle school.

“The rubber flooring is very low maintenance. It doesnt need to be waxed. You just sweep it and mop it, then run the machine over it maybe a couple of times a year, said Allen.

“By using state funds for the up-front cost (of the upgrade), we keep our operating costs down. That way local dollars go to classroom education and not to waxing floors.

The early site work at the middle school, which includes excavation, soil conditioning, roughing in roads, and installing a retention basin, is set to start in April.

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