TORONTO - The school district's new building to house grades six through 12 still is on schedule, despite initial bids for the project coming in too high, according to city school district officials.
The original bids were rejected by the school board Feb. 16, and new bids will be accepted April 18 with a pre-bid meeting for potential contractors bidding on the project held Monday at Karaffa Elementary School. District officials are confident new bids will come in on budget due to having cut what they said were about $1 million in mostly cosmetic changes, according to Maureen Taggart, district communication coordinator, and Fred Burns, district superintendent.
"We want to make sure people know the project still is on schedule," said Burns, adding the building will be completed by August of 2013 despite the setback.
"The initial bids came over the base bids.
"The district met with the construction manager, the architect and the Ohio School Facilities commission representatives to make adjustments to the building design so we can bid (the project) again," Burns continued. "This meeting generated about $1 million in savings for the overall project. With the new design we haven't lost any square footage or classrooms. The changes were cosmetic in nature."
"The biggest savings will be in the appearance of the library," said Taggart.
The library still will have glass windows, but they won't be rounded, said Burns. He added the library windows still will offer the same lighting and be the same size "but be more of a hexagonal shape. We had a lot of split block in the hallway."
Burns said the hallway now will be constructed with a more traditional interlocking block.
"We had planned a partition between the cafeteria and the gymnasium, but now we're going to have a solid wall," said Taggart.
The window designs in the main corridors and hallways will be changed from large windows to smaller windows covering the same amount of area, according to Burns.
"It's cheaper to put in smaller windows that will use the same amount of space as the bigger windows," said Burns, adding the smaller windows will have more support than the larger. "They still will provide the same amount of light.
"We are opening bids at 3:30 p.m. April 18 at Karaffa," continued Burns. "We're anticipating approving the bids for construction during the April 16 (city school) board meeting (at Karaffa). We'd have the ground-breaking and construction begin in early May."
Burns said the district planned on potential construction issues causing delays, and the project still will be completed on time.
"The re-bid cost us about a month," he said. "But we're still optimistic the project will be finished by August of 2013."
(Miller can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)