School bids come in under budget

By Chuck Kajer

The New Prague Area School board awarded $16.68 million in bids for the construction of two elementary schools during its meeting Monday, July 11.

The bids were nine line items regarding construction of the two buildings, in New Prague and New Market. Included in the package were concrete work, awarded to Stellar Concrete & Masonry for $1.11 million; precast walls/floors to Hanson Structural Precast, Midwest, for $2.28 million; masonry to Rice Lake Construction group for $512,250; steel fabrication and miscellaneous metals to Five Star Welding & Fabricating for $912,950; elevator contract to Minnesota Elevator Inc., for $91,480; plumbing to Minnetonka Plumbing for $3.26 million; HVAC/Controls to McDowall Company for $2.84 million; and electrical work to Phasor Electric for $2.81 million.

In all but one case, the winning bidder was the low bidder. The low bid for precast walls and floor was Wells Concrete Products, by less than $1,000, but the company could not guarantee delivery to fit the production schedule.

The $16.68 million is nearly $1.66 million under the budgeted amount. That, along with the earlier grading bids and the better than expected interest rate on the bonds, means the entire project is about $2 million under budget at this stage.

Todd Christensen of Amcon, the construction manager for the projects, said the lower than expected bids will allow the district to use some of the alternate bids, including an ECFE wing at the New Market school.

School board chair Bob Reed said they would be able to make some changes to the building that, while it may cost more in the construction phase, will save money in the long run due to lower maintenance costs and energy savings.

Board member Tom Fadden agreed, saying the alternates are not extravagant

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