Another step in construction of a junior high school was completed Thursday as the Neosho R-5 School District board of education opened four competing bids from contractors.

Another step in construction of a junior high school was completed Thursday as the Neosho R-5 School District board of education opened four competing bids from contractors.
The next step is the acceptance of one of the bids and an array of alternate bids, which is expected within the week.
Branco Enterprises of Neosho submitted the low base bid of $22,000,000. Bids also were received from Crossland Construction of Columbus, Kan., for $23,613,000, Dewitt & Associates of Springfield for $22,595,000 and KCI Construction of Lebanon for $23,270,000.
A large series of alternates also were bid, as Tim Crawley, assistant superintendent for business and finance, explained the goal is to determine how many of the alternates they can afford and to prioritize the alternates.
“Your base bid is getting the building built,” Crawley said. “Some of the alternates have to do with developing the road, developing the bus loop at Carver (Elementary) and tying that in. (They include) casework, which is all of your trophy cabinets, and your cabinetry and your bookshelves and those types of things, some of those things you may not be able to afford now and you do it at a later date, or you pull it out and maybe do it in-house or something that our people can build.”
Alternates also deal with food service and concessions equipment and many other features, but Crawley said the district cannot pick and choose bidders; it must do the math and pick the base bid and a variety of alternates from the same company.
“We just have to look at what makes the most sense for us, to see if it will all fit within our budget,” he said. “That’s what I’ll be doing over the next several days, saying, ‘Based on the budget, based on the dollars available, this is what we can do, or this is not what we can do.’”
The bond issue approved by voters in April was for $24 million, but Crawley said the district expects to receive more than that from the sale of bonds because of interest that will accrue.
“We sold $10 million in bonds because, at a premium rate at $10 million, you actually make a little extra on that because of the rate on the bond,” he said. “We’re getting ready to go out on an additional $10 million, and the reason you do that in $10 million sections or less is more people can invest in that. There’s more competition, so they buy them at a higher rate of interest for us.”
Crawley said the district will lean heavily on its architects for guidance on accepting the bid and expects to have a decision by Thursday, when a special meeting will be planned to make that official. That decision could be made as early as today.
Once accepted, the contractor will have a presence on the property within 14 to 30 days and preferably will be moving dirt. Once a selection is made, Crawley said, a public groundbreaking ceremony will be held, possibly by late next week.
The schedule calls for the school district to take possession of its newest facility in the summer of 2017 and have it outfitted and ready to begin accepting students for the 2017-2018 school year.