Smith-Green School Board moves on building project

Bids for the high school secure entry addition originally came in at $399,000 from Fetters Construction. Greg Wehling from Moake Park Group Architectural Firm discussed a redesign of the secure entry that would eliminate the original plan for additional offices in the entryway and proposed it to Steve Fetters with Fetters Construction. Though Fetters had originally projected a cost of $200,000 based on the new sketch, after gathering estimates based on information from subcontractors, Fetters submitted a bid of $298,000 for the redesign.

Dick Moake of Moake Park recommended that the Board rebid the high school entry portion of the project to open it up to multiple contractors and possibly receive more competitive bids.

Board member Rick Trump recommended pulling the elementary school secure entrance as well and rebid it along with the high school entrance and then asking Fetters to extend the guaranteed bid from 60 days to 90 days, thus giving the Board leeway to decide which route to take.

Trump said the Board is risking $98,000 by not separating both entryways from the plan and rebidding them.

“Why take a risk?” Trump said. “What’s to lose?”

“The project is chopped up enough already,” Board Secretary Nick Uecker said. “If we take away both entrances, [Fetters Construction] might pull out of the whole project.”

“You might be right, Nick,” Trump said, “but let’s prove it.”

Uecker countered that the weather was a definite factor and the Board should act so that construction can begin before winter hits. In addition, Uecker said that by rebidding only the high school secure entry, smaller contractors may be able to bid that wouldn’t otherwise be able to man a large project.

Uecker motioned to award the bid of $4,775,100 to Fetters Construction for the first phase of the project and to rebid the new layout for the high school secure entry.

Board members Rick Trump and Michael Sturgis opposed, while Board President Cathy Petrie and Board member Tanya Young supported the motion.

The addition of an elementary cafeteria will displace three classrooms. The original plans called for the addition of five classrooms along the south side of the building, but bids for the classroom addition came in at nearly $1 million. Business Manager Todd Fleetwood said the project has been moved to the bottom of the list due to the price and due to the fact that two classrooms are now open because of lower enrollment. In addition, two computer labs may be used as classrooms.

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