Bids for intermediate school come in under estimate
May 02. 2014 9:40AM
Bids for the new intermediate school were opened last Thursday, April 18, at the central administration office. With bids in Pierre and Brookings coming in high in the previous week there was concern that the Brandon Valley project might follow suit and stress an already tight budget. There were seven bidders and after opening the first one, things looked doable and it seemed like each bid just got better. In the end, the very last bid opened, Peska Construction that the district has used in the past came in lowest with a base bid just under $12 million.
There are a number of “alternates” included in the bid and the architect and central administrators recommended a package to the school board that would fit well within the budget. (Just a note: I am not trying to hide what that package includes, but I am writing this before the board meeting actually occurred to meet the publication deadline.)
The design philosophy used in Brandon Valley and its location both contribute to its ability to attract very competitive bidding. At Brandon Valley we do not build “fancy”, but instead build durable, functional, attractive buildings that provide learning environments designed for the success of our students. Our architects at Architects, Inc. certainly delivered on this project and we appreciate their responsiveness to our design philosophy and the compressed timeline.
With respect to the timeline, the school board held a special meeting on Monday, April 21 to consider the bids and award a construction contract. By not waiting until the next regularly scheduled meeting, the board gained a week in the construction schedule. Our experience has shown that the contractors appreciate every day they can get on a schedule for a large project with a very firm deadline for completion. The new school needs to be ready for staff and students at the beginning of the 2015-16 school year.