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Peska Construction awarded intermediate school project
By By Jill Meier
Challenger editor

April 30. 2014 9:04AM
Peska Construction was selected from seven construction firms who submitted bids for Brandon Valley’s new intermediate school that will house grades five and six beginning in August of 2015.

The base bid, including a variety of alternates, came in well under the architect’s $14 million estimate at $12,422.800.

“The design philosophy used at Brandon Valley and its location both contributed to favorable bids,” Superintendent Dave Pappone said. “As it turned out, we ‘re going to be able to furnish the building with bonds and revenue certificates from the Capital Outlay Fund, which saves us Capital Outlay money that can go toward other projects.”
The Board of Education awarded Peska Construction the project during a special meeting on April 21. Pappone said dirt work should start in early May.

The add alternates include finishes to eight classroom, a change in exterior light fixtures, gymnasium equipment, and exterior masonry pilasters at Robert Bennis Elementary. The RBE gym floor, which is need of replacement, was not approved last week. Pappone said more information was needed for on that alternate part of the project. “But it will probably be approved in some fashion or another,” Pappone said.

Peska’s $12.4 million bid was the lowest of seven submitted. Breitbach Construction from Willmar, Minn., submitted the highest bid at $13.5 million. Other companies submitting bids were from the area: G.A. Johnson Construction, Gil Haugan Construction, Golden Rule Construction, Henry Carlson Construction and Hoogendoorn Construction.

The intermediate school, which will be constructed directly west of Robert Bennis Elementary on Park Street, will mimic Robert Bennis and Fred Assam elementary schools and the middle school, with the music rooms and gymnasium located just off of the commons. The conceptual plan also calls for two separate wings of 16 classrooms each for the fifth and sixth grades.

In early December last year, 77 percent of the voters authorized the district to borrow $5.95 million to pay for the school, more than the 60 percent required for the bond referendum to pass.

The 20-year bond will cost the owner of a $200,000 home an extra $56 per year, or less as total valuation in the district grows.

The intermediate school will house fifth- and sixth-graders, removing fifth-graders from the elementary schools and sixth-graders out of the middle school. Those moves will create more breathing room for the existing schools, Pappone said.
The district has seen enrollment grow about 100 students a year, and the middle school would approach capacity if another school weren’t constructed. The new intermediate school will help buy the district time before it needs builds an elementary school, Pappone said.

Pappone said ongoing community backing has made this building endeavor, as well as past endeavors, possible.

“The Brandon Valley community is noted for being supportive of the school, and that’s what makes projects go smoothly, is community support, cooperation and good planning,” he said.

This is a front entry rendering of the new intermediate school that will be built directly west of Robert Bennis Elementary. Construction is expected to start in early May, with the school opening in the fall of 2015. Architecture Incorporated drawing

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