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Helmut Schmidt, Published March 26 2012

Bids for new West Fargo middle school $1.7 million lower than budgeted

WEST FARGO – Give me Liberty and give me a discount!

The West Fargo School Board continued a run of good news with its school construction projects, voting 5-0 Tuesday to approve bids for building Liberty Middle School that came in more than $1.7 million lower than originally budgeted, and nearly $2.2 million lower than the architect’s estimates.

The low base bids, with some additional work, came in at $26,266,965, Business Manager Mark Lemer told the board during its meeting at Cheney Middle School.

The project will also have a $565,000 contingency fund to cover any unexpected costs, he said.

The total includes alternative bid items that expand the gymnasium, add terrazzo flooring, welded athletic lockers and wood trusses for the ceiling of the commons, as well as paving the parking lot and its drive lanes with concrete, Lemer said.

Gast Construction of Fargo was the low bidder for general construction work at $17,118,100. Northern Plains Mechanical of Fargo won the mechanical contract with a bid of $5,431,050.

Grotberg Electric of West Fargo won the electrical construction contract at $3,290,900. Hockenbergs Food Service Equipment of Fargo won the kitchen equipment contract at $426,915.

The school district saved about $300,000 on construction of Freedom Elementary, Lemer said. The Phase 1 construction bids to turn the ninth-grade center into Sheyenne High School were $1.9 million under budget, he said.

In other business, the board voted to raise dri-vers’ education program fees $20 a year for the next three years to make up a budget shortfall due to rising costs. Fees will be $165 for 2012, $185 for 2013, and $205 for 2014.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583