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Creston School Board approved contractor for bus barn

Published: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 1:25 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 12:34 p.m. CDT

Creston School Board approved a contractor for the bus barn during the regularly scheduled meeting Monday.

The board voted to approve Breiholz Construction Company of Des Moines as the contractor in the building of Creston School District’s bus barn. Ron Dunphy was the only board member voting no.

The bus barn was destroyed during a tornado April 2012.

Breiholz Construction Company’s bid was for $906,000 for a base bid. The work is planned to take 90 days.

“The low bid here is projected 90 days. We think that’s really aggressive because you’re unsure of the weather, you know the weather dictates construction,” Superintendent Steve McDermott said. “I guess our thought was, we’re shooting for a Thanksgiving date, so it’ll be good.”

Creston School Board discussed the finances of the bus barn before motioning for approval.

“I think it’s a lot higher than any of us ever anticipated it was going to cost us,” said Board Member Rick Fyock. “But, I think in the long run, we have to look at where the district is going to be in ten years. ... The tendency is the consolidation of schools and stuff, transportation is going to be a big, major issue.”

The original estimate, according to McDermott, was approximately $450,000 for the bus barn.

McDermott also said the district can afford the cost of the building and work. More than $400,000 of the construction will be paid for by insurance. The remaining cost will come out of the district’s physical plant and equipment levy (PPEL) fund.

PPEL is a levy that provides funding for buildings, equipment and technology.

“We’re okay,” McDermott said. “PPEL-wise, funding-wise, we’re okay to go ahead and support this.”

Against

Board Member Ron Dunphy, however, said $906,000 is not what the district will pay by the end of the process.

“That amount of money is not the cost of the bus barn,” Dunphy said. “We’ve already invested side preparations and whatever else.”

The school district paid for preparations of the site, which is northeast of where the former building was located. The district also paid for an architect to format blueprints of the building, which includes a wash bay for buses.

“It’s not an issue with the contractor,” Dunphy said. “I’m against spending extra money on concrete in the bus barn. The board members and administration and the company that formatted the plans have known that for a long time.”

There is an Iowa code, Dunphy said, that requires all vehicles used by a public entity to be parked on concrete when housed inside a building. This will allow for leaking fuel to be dealt with, rather than using crushed rock.

“Even though that seems to be the building code, my thought was we could get a variance (appeal) and not have to use the expensive concrete for the bus barn surface,” Dunphy said.

The concrete is a $200,000 addition to the cost of the barn.

“I think, broadly, any national, state or local rule there is usually a chance to appeal the decision of whatever government entity it is,” Dunphy said. “There is almost, I think, always a process to appeal.”

Bids

Other bidders were Jensen Builders of Fort Dodge, with a 150-day plan for $914,940. Hansen Company of Johnston also bid for a 180-day plan for $1,144,000.

Sande Construction of Humboldt did not bid.

Breiholz Construction Company was the recommended bid of the three companies who placed bids.

In other school board news:

• Patrick Rabbit, fifth-grade teacher, Vicky Wood, high school math teacher, and Stephanie Wallace, paraprofessional, have resigned from their positions.

• Contracts were approved for Brett Wilson, high school success coordinator and head boys’ basketball coach, Karlyn McCutchan, elementary and middle school vocal music teacher, Amy Culberson, special education teacher, Eric Ehlen, P.E. and health teacher, Kelsey McQueen-Bettell, middle school cross country coach and summer program teacher, Virginia Harlan, junior class sponsor, Terri Koets, part-time cook, summer program teachers Lisa Tomas, Susan Bergstrom, Courtney Kammerer, Brittany McAlexander, Staci Miller, Hannah North, Lisa Peters, Amanda Plymale, Deena Bevins and Sarah Stephens, and summer program paraprofessionals Mae Greene, Kate Guiter and Richard Homewood.

• Creston School Board approved an increase of $5 for substitute teacher pay per day. The amount is now $100.

• Edits for Creston elementary and middle schools handbooks were approved by Creston School Board. Edits included a homework and absent policy.

• Final sale of the former administration building, 619 N. Maple St., was up for public hearing, then approved, during the school board meeting. Scott Abildtrup purchased the building.

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