New School Construction Contract Awarded to MAPP

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By Dave Freneaux

On Thursday, July 15th, the bids were opened for the construction of the new Central Middle and Intermediate Schools on Sullivan Road.  The base bids for the two schools raged from $31,440,000 to $35,437,000.  Two "Alternates" were also in the bid package.  Alternate 1 is for twelve additional classrooms, six in each school.   Alternate 2 is for another 12 classrooms, again, 6 in each school.  Bids ranged from $978,000 to $1,140,000 for each Alternate.
The School Board met in a special called meeting on Wednesday, July 21st, to determine whether the construction budget is sufficient to add one or both alternates to the project.  The base bid package is sufficient to house the existing population of these schools with no room for growth in enrollment.  The schools are designed to be added on to as enrollment demands, but adding the Alternates now would be the least expensive option for additional space and would provide the School System with more room, sooner.

Mr. Bogan presented information to the Board showing that the available budget for the project was sufficient to accept both alternates.  With this approach, the new schools will have a total capacity of 2,400 students in the Intermediate and Middle Schools, which is expected to be sufficient to house expected population growth in Central for the near term.
After a recess and teleconference with the bond attorney, it was decided that sufficient bonding capacity exists to completely fund the project and all related projects.  The motion was made to build the schools and both alternates and was passed unanimously.
Mr. Bogan recommended that the contract be awarded to the low bidder,  MAPP construction.  The next to the lowest bidder, Lemoine Co., raised an objection based on a "scratch-out" on the bid form.  An attorney for MAPP argued the contrary.  An attorney representing the School Board spoke and took the position that the MAPP bid was proper.
Lemoine's attorney, Mr. Foster, stated that they will bring legal action which will likely delay construction and even jeopardize the schools opening on time.  The School Board voted unanimously to award the bid to MAPP.  When asked by after the meeting whether the statement was a bluff, Mr. Foster said, "Oh no, that is a promise."