Bids For Swanton Schools Building Project Come In Below Estimates; Will Allow For Other Needs

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Recently submitted contract bids for the Swanton School District’s building project were presented to the Board of Education during their November Meeting for review. The project involves modifying Crestwood Elementary to house grades K-4, Park Elementary to house grades 5-8 and the demolition of the middle school and the 1904 building which is currently condemned.

The bids, which include general trades, heating-ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), electrical and demolition, came in at $4,586,238 or 23% below estimates will allow the District and the Board to consider adding other needs to the project.

“Since the base bid came in way under budget it would give the Board the opportunity to choose some of the alternate bids that we put out and still stay within the $5.2 million-dollar range of the budget,” said Swanton Superintendent Jeff Schlade. “We had a number of alternative bids that Munger (architect) put out for us that the contractors could then bid on.”

There were three alternative items that Mr. Schlade felt would be “the most meaningful for the benefit of the kids”. They included a lunch room with a wooden gym floor at Park at a cost of $640,600 and making both Park and Crestwood fully air conditioned at a combined cost of $842,000. Mr. Schlade pointed out that, to his knowledge, all other school buildings in Fulton County have air conditioning.

In addition to the base bids and the three alternative bids recommended by Mr. Schlade, the Board will also consider the ten remaining alternative bids which would place the overall price tag at $5,827,825. The District currently has enough cash on hand to cover the overage and would not need to put a new levy on the ballot for additional tax dollars. The Board members called for a special meeting on November 29 to discuss all matters related to the project.

Prior to the Building Project discussions, the Board heard from Swanton Gifted Student teacher Jennifer Schmidt on her concerns that the Gifted Student Program may be cut back or possibly eliminated. Her belief is that gifted students will not perform to their ability unless they are properly challenged by a special program.

Swanton parent Heidi Bellnar, who has two children in the gifted program spoke next in support of the program and Ms. Schmidt. “Having gifted children has given me some unique challenges that you might not expect and she has been a mentor to both my kids and me as a parent,” said Ms. Bellnar.

In other news, the Board approved a three-year support contract with IBM for $5527. The contract covers all of the District’s 45 hard drives and includes all software upgrades. The Board also approved an addendum to a service agreement with Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center.

The next regularly scheduled meeting will be December 20, 2016 at 7:00 pm.

Bill O’Connell may be reached at publisher@thevillagereporter.com

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