By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer
The new Clinton Middle School is going out for bid, following the Clinton School Board’s approval Monday of construction documents for the project.
Randy Fuller with ESTES Construction, and Andrew Reich, with FRK Architects, presented documents to the board that had an estimated cost of $20.8 million, $800,000 more than the district budget of $20 million.
Fuller said he’s confident the actual cost will come within the $20 million budget because the bids that actually come in will vary 3 to 6 percent from the estimate. Fuller also said with the construction climate, those bidding will be eager for a project.
“I’d like to stress that the goal that we are after on the middle school is a total cost of $20 million. I see we are over this at this point, but I feel that with the point we’re at with the process with the documents, that in the bidding process we feel optimistic,” Fuller said.
The increase in cost was due to a problem with the soil, which showed grand aggregate foundation would be needed as well as some other issues, Fuller said.
School Board President Gregg Obren said he is not concerned with the estimated cost, based on the district’s focus on staying within the budget.
“I’m not concerned with it because we have made that the number-one target,” Obren said.
Fuller also presented a timeline to the board that included a bid due date of Dec. 13, school board approval of contractors in January 2014, a construction start date of March 2013 and a completion date of July 2014.
The School Board last month decided six, seventh and eighth grade students would attend the new middle school, contrary to earlier plans not to house sixth graders in the new building. While Superintendent Deb Olson said the school could house all three grades without any changes, she suggested that four classrooms that had already been on the school plan for possible future additions, would allow for more room for the additional grade.
The $20.8 million estimate did not include the extra classrooms, which Fuller estimated would cost $861,000. Bids will be requested with an alternate for the classrooms, as well as four other alternates including finishes for the school.
The board unanimously approved the construction documents.