Categorized | Advocate News

School Board Bids Out Wendover Elem Again

Posted on 30 January 2015 by Howard Copelan

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The Elko County School Board once again voted to put the new estimated $30,000 million  West Wendover Elementary school project out to bid in Tuesday’s meeting.

the often delayed and postponed project is still not out of the woods yet however.

Last year the project was also approved to be bid and was postponed when all the bids came in too high.

Background Information: The West Wendover Elementary School Project consists of construction of a new elementary school, including both on-site and off-site improvements. The bid will be structured with “Bid Alternates” to maximize the $30,000,000.00 set aside in the five-year Capital Improvement Plan for this project. The “Bid Alternates” need to be prioritized prior to going to bid. The bid alternates are as follows:

newtaxad1. Select Classroom Millwork $365,180.00

2. Mat Lifter in Gymnasium $7,500.00

3. Playground Equipment $200,000.00

4. Grass Play Field $211,200.00

5. Chain Link Fence East of Site Along Florence Way $30,800.00

6. Select Kitchen Equipment $115,000.00

The Board approved these bid alternates, and if the bids come in as projected we will be able to afford all of the alternates.  The kitchen equipment is the last alternate, as a result of the RFP we have out for outsourcing food service.  Once that decision is finalized this March we will then re-prioritize if necessary.

Some of the cutting included slightly shrinking classroom size from 960 square feet to 900 square feet, relocating the main campus thus shortening the access road and cutting out lockers in the new gymnasium.

centracom1501The new elementary was part of a $33 million project that also included a retro fit of the current elementary school into a middle school and a new road to alleviate traffic congestion and a ball field.

The school board had put the project at the top of the “pay as you go” agenda in which means construction on the new school could start in 2015 and be completed in 2016.

Pay-as-you-go school tax revenue through the end of fiscal year 2013 is estimated at just over $39 million, according to the five-year plan.

The need for a middle school in West Wendover was acknowledged almost since the West Wendover Jr/Sr high school opened in 1996.

However the project was sidelined in the late 1990’s when the price of gold collapsed and tax revenues in Elko County subsequently plunged. Talk of the new middle began again in the mid 2000’s but again the economy turned sour in the Great Recession and all building projects were put on indefinite hold.

refundhrIn the meantime West Wendover made due with stopped gap temporary trailers that now house about 50 percent of its elementary students.

The district had planned for a maximum of about $33 million to be spent for the school, Zander said. Bids came in at nearly $40 million.

Board members said they would not vote to accept the bid if it would mean postponing other projects in the district because of budgetary concerns.

The major cost cutting changes Zander said came not from the building itself but rather its location.

wrecaquaInstead of putting the new school in the middle of the property it was moved closer to the side thus shortening the access road the district committed to build. As any West Wendover parent can attest traffic is a major safety problem at the current elementary school.

According to the conceptual schedule, construction of the new West Wendover elementary school could begin as early as April 2015. The old elementary school building could then be bid for a renovation into a middle school. Construction on that project could begin in 2017.

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