School board OKs more than $3M in construction projects

Several construction projects were either discussed or approved by the Marshalltown School Board at its meeting Monday, including two bids totaling more than $3 million.

The bids for the Miller Middle School classroom remodel of 18 classrooms and six restrooms for $1.7 million from Garling Construction of Belle Plaine was approved.

It was well over the original estimate. The classroom work on the 1957 wing at the school will be done this summer with some of the bathroom work being wrapped up by January 2014.

The medium voltage electric service upgrade at Marshalltown High School bid was approved from Price Industrial of Hiawatha for a cost of $1.49 million. This will bring equipment up to date, since much of the electrical equipment at MHS is aged and replacement parts are very rare.

The Price Industrial bid was the lone bid for the project and it came in well over the original estimate. Board members Jason Jablonski and John Johnson seemed concerned that only one bid came in and it was over the estimate.

Board President Sherm Welker said it is too big of a risk not to get this electrical upgrade done this year. If some of this equipment fails, the high school would have to run on a generator, Welker said.

The MHS Roundhouse re-roofing project was let out to bid. It is the first phase expected this summer which will set up the major renovations for next fall in the second package. This phase has an estimated cost of $475,000.

“It needs to be replaced, especially if we’re going to spend a lot of money inside next fall,” Welker said of the roof.

Designs were presented for the estimated $400,000 remodeling of classrooms to host Project Lead the Way at MHS. The curriculum is expected to begin this fall in engineering and biomedical work. Work on this renovation is expected to be done this summer.

Jablonski was concerned that in this meeting alone they are spending $1.3 million more than originally estimated in their facilities plan in a $50 million school budget.

“So that’s a big deal,” Jablonski said.

The remodeling of the former Anson Middle School for the future location of the Support Services building was presented in a preliminary phase. This future project will relocate central office staff and the board room and is expected to cost $2.2 million.

The district has hired a new foodservice director to replace the retiring Vickie McVey. Lynn Swinger of the Ankeny School District was hired and will start July 1 with an annual salary of $63,000.

The next meeting of the board will be held at noon April 29 in district offices to possibly approve construction projects.