Archive for Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Utility work to get under way next at Tonganoxie High

July 6, 2005

During a meeting to wrap up the 2005 fiscal year, Tonganoxie school board members also approved bids for utility work at the high school campus, in preparation for an addition to the building.

But the bids have come in above estimates made in April 2004.

The work is being financed as part of a $25.3 million bond issue that voters approved last November.

Kris Roberts, construction manager for Turner Construction, said the time lag between budgeting and bidding is to blame for not hitting budget -- as well as additions to the amount of work bid.

"We knew ... we were going to be over budget," she said. ''... We're looking at doing a lot of work, a lot of which was not anticipated a year ago."

Board members approved bids from Meadows Construction for $110,647 for water and sanitary sewer work; from Capital Electric for $66,401 for electric work; from Kansas Gas for $39,748 for work on the natural gas main; and from Valley Moving for up to $26,000 to move modular classrooms. The Valley Moving bid was not finalized before board members met last Thursday afternoon.

Roberts said it's anticipated the entire cost of utility relocations on the high school campus will exceed budget by about $139,500.

When asked by board members about the overruns, Superintendent Richard Erickson replied: "We're going to have to make it up somewhere. But these items are needed."

And in an interview later, the superintendent said a $139,000 cost overrun is only a small piece of the $25 million project.

He said district officials will watch each bid package throughout the construction process to try to recapture those funds. And he noted that he knew some non-bond issue monies will be spent on some portions of the overall project, including about $22,000 for costs associated with moving the art building.

Roberts said she anticipates that the modular classrooms will be moved by the end of this week, and that work on sanitary sewer, water and electric will begin next week.

"It became real evident this was something we were going to have to do before school starts," she said.

That's because the work will involve tearing up some asphalt parking and driveways.

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