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Good news on LP-A school bids

Contracts for the construction of the $14 million new Lake Park-Audubon High School will be awarded this Thursday at a special 5 p.m. school board meeting in Lake Park.

Bids for the project were opened last Thursday at the high school.

"We started (opening bids) at 2 p.m., and we finished around 5 p.m.," said LP-A Superintendent Dale Hogie. "We had phenomenal interest, from Minnesota North Dakota and beyond,

"We had 38 different bid packages, with multiple bidders on each of those," he added.

The numbers were slightly better than expected, Hogie noted.

"We were hoping for a number in the $14 million range -- we came in very close to that."

In fact, he added, the base bids for construction came in a little bit under the $14.2 million amount projected by Gertz Construction Services.

Because of that, "we have about 20 bid alternates to consider now, with about $350,000 to $400,000 to apply towards those alternates," Hogie said.

Not all bids submitted by Thursday's deadline were considered; Hogie said that those bids submitted without the necessary insurance guarantee attached were returned unopened.

Overall, however, the bidding process went well.

"Gertz Construction Services is still in the process of contacting the low bidders and having discussions with them... they will become formal when the school board accepts the bids on Thursday," Hogie said.

Meanwhile, work on the renovations and additions at the LP-A Elementary School in Audubon are going very much according to schedule, Hogie noted.

In fact, the contractors have actually asked if there is a way for some areas of the building that are currently in use to be vacated ahead of schedule so they can start those renovations this spring, instead of waiting until school lets out for the summer in June.

"By the end of March or early April they will be getting to the point of having done as much as they can do" in the areas not currently being used by staff and students, Hogie said.

"They can't do any more work unless we vacate the south gymnasium," he continued. "There is some work they could do in there, but that would displace some physical education, fifth and sixth grade band, and take away space for spring activities.

"We have to decide whether we can find another place for those students and athletes to be."

Even if the gymnasium could be vacated, however, "there's some work that definitely can't be done until the building is exited for the summer," Hogie said.

For instance, demolition of the old 1922 portion of the school can't be done until summer, because that space is being actively used for school activities until the end of the academic year, he explained.

Work on the new parking lot also can't begin until that demolition is completed, Hogie added.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454