Archive for Wednesday, April 12, 2000

New school building one step closer to reality

April 12, 2000

The bid for the school district's multi-purpose facility has been cut about as far as possible.

"We've just about whittled down everything that we can whittle down," said Larry Meadows.

Meadows, a contractor who serves on the school's volunteer building committee, said he's been working on the bids with last year's low bidder, A.L. Huber Construction Inc., Overland Park. The revamped bid now stands at $540,000. Originally, the school district's plan was to construct the multi-purpose facility for $500,000. But when the bids came in last fall, the lowest bid was $680,000.

At that time, the board decided to work with Huber Construction to see just how far costs could be cut.

As a result, the building will still serve as a multi-purpose facility, but it won't be constructed as originally planned. For instance, the wall height and depth have been changed to cut costs, as have the roof and temperature control.

"It's no Cadillac," Meadows said. "It's a nice building, but it's no Cadillac."

Meadows, whose own company, Meadows Construction, is donating the pad for the building's foundation, said the only way he believes the price could be brought down to $500,000 would be if more of the construction work were donated.

He said it wouldn't be a good idea to make more changes to the plans.

"If we try to reduce the size of the building, it's the general consensus that we're not going to be able to use it for other purposes and have it be open to the public," Meadows said.

Meadows said part of the high costs stem from state regulations that require specific codes be met. He urged the board to think about accepting the Huber bid when the final numbers come in. Funds for the project would still be borrowed interest-free from First State Bank and Trust.

"If it's going to happen, it needs to happen," Meadows said. "Kent (Kent Needham, president of First State Bank) said they can't keep extending this loan of interest-free money forever."

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