Bid awarded for new GrCo high school, career academy

The Greene County Schools board of education held a special meeting March 6 to accept a bid for construction of the new high school and career academy.

The bid of $31,573,000 from Henkel Construction was accepted, with a deduction of $350,000 for wood veneer on the ceiling and wall reflectors in the auditorium.

During discussion of the bid at the February regular meeting, a deduction of $90,000 for a distributed antenna system on the roof was also discussed. Superintendent Tim Christensen was dissuaded from taking the deduction because with the precast concrete walls cellular phone service in the building would be poor, and in the event of an emergency, law enforcement radios wouldn’t work without the antennas.

The bid was not accepted at the earlier meeting because the total project cost is $1.5 million more than available revenue. Henkel was asked to do “value engineering,” suggesting possible changes to the plan to reduce cost.

The value engineering is not yet complete, but the board was compelled to move forward with accepting a bid so the precast concrete walls can be ordered. The walls will be fabricated at Advanced Precast Company in Dyersville. The time needed to set up the project and the company’s work schedule required a firm order now.

The precast walls will be ready for delivery in June. Delaying accepting the bid would have delayed delivery until September.

The board will look closely at all cost-savings measures. Already, the board has rejected a less expensive roof option because of its shorter life expectancy. “We don’t want to save money now only to set ourselves up for problems later on,” Christensen said.

Board member Sam Harding, who will serve as owner’s representative on the project, is confident Henkel will continue the value engineering work to reduce costs. Using funds from the physical plant and equipment levy (PPEL) and the Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) 1-cent sales tax is the “Plan B” to cover any cost overruns.

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