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Rugby rejects four bids, accepts others

By Staff | Mar 4, 2011

Tim Berg, Zerr Berg Architects, Fargo, told the Rugby School Board that the cost of the school renovation/addition project was bid $900,000.00 over and above what was allocated for the project, at a special meeting held on Mar. 2.

The architectural firm reviewed the bid summary for the project with the school board members and administration.

Cost of the total project without eleven items the board had chosen as alternatives earlier was $6,632,233.62. The cost of the total bid package with all 11 alternatives included is $6,952,117.05.

The school district set aside $6 million in an investment account for the project, after it was put on the June primary ballot and was approved by the voters for selling up to $6 million in bonds.

School board members went over the summary, line item by line item, and found four areas that would need to be re-bid: earthwork, paving and surfacing, site utilities, and concrete. In one instance the bid was an estimated bid. In the other three areas, the bid came in at least twice as high as the initial estimate.

Chuck Volk expressed concern about “overstepping the budget.” Volk suggested applying for a Bremer Foundation Grant to finish the alternatives at a later date.

“I would love to get it done,” said Volk, referring to the alternatives.

“Prices are not going to go down,” said Mark Hamilton. “This project needs to be done right.”

The amount of debt limit of $6 million was capped at the time. However, the bond limit is now capped at $7 million because of revenue from the Rugby Wind Farm.

The board began exploring options to help pay the total cost including the alternatives.

One option that seems the most workable to the board is using funds provided by increasing the levy by 7-8 mills in accordance with the North Dakota Century Code (NDCC) 57-15-17.1 which reads: “The governing body of any public school district may by resolution adopted by a two/thirds vote of the school board dedicate a tax levy for purposes of this section, not exceeding 15 mills… for a period not longer than 15 years. “

One of the purposes of this section is for heating and ventilation improvements to provide proper indoor air quality which the school is doing as part of the project.

If the board would levy 7-8 more mills, the resulting funds would cover the cost of the $900,000.00 budget overrun and the project could be completed in its entirety including the alternatives. The alternatives include: walk-in freezer addition, storage room, north parking lot addition, burnished block in lieu of painted CMU (for better wear in the long run), geothermal heating in lieu of boiling/cooler tower, greenhouse addition, ceiling tile and lighting in Rms C141 & D136, lighting replacement in gym, control room and sound upgrades in the auditorium, ceilings, lighting and paint in vo-ag area, and ceilings, lighting and paint in band rooms.

After two hours of thoroughly discussing options, the board made three different motions for the bidding process. Chuck Volk made the first motion to reject base bids 2a, 2c, 2e, and 3a (as described above) and the alternatives associated with those bids. Cory Johnson seconded the motion. Volk, Johnson, Hamilton, and Schmaltz all voted aye. The second motion was moved by Johnson and seconded by Schmaltz to accept all remaining bid packages for the base bid. All voted in favor. The third motion was made by Hamilton and seconded by Johnson to accept the bid package of all the alternates. All ayes with the exception of Chuck Volk who voted nay.

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