The United South Central School Board awarded multiple bids at their meeting last Tuesday night in regard to the new USC school building.
Schrader Enterprises Lawn and Landscaping was the unanimous decision for the landscaping project at the new USC site. They were the low bid with $20,983.91 compared to a $37,844 bid from Erosion Control Inc.
"The Erosion company believed that you need to add maintenance and seeding costs," Kraus-Anderson Construction project manager Justin Webster says. "That's why their bid is much larger."
Premier Polysteel, out of Northwood Iowa, was also awarded work with their bid to do the USC site furnishings, which includes benches and trash receptacles.
"Their bid of $16,526 came under the alloted budget," Webster says. "The chairs and tables are metal powder coated with a mesh substance. They will be very durable."
Board member Sharon Parriott joked that she has a Premier Polysteel table and that was the only item which didn't get blown 30 feet into the street during last week's storm.
The board also passed a motion to purchase the new school's wireless networking needs from Emergent Networks using a Procurve server for $66,165.
Superintendent Jerry Jensen suggested the board buy the wireless networking needs outright, instead of leasing.
"It makes the most sense to buy it outright," Jensen explains. "It is going to come from the general fund anyways, this way we don't have to pay the additional interest costs."
The board also accepted Video Services Inc. (VSI) bid from Mankato to transfer the current Promethean boards to the new school for $26,335.
Jensen also brought up a possible issue that the two gyms, the auditorium, the commons area and the office don't have wiring for wi-fi.
"We don't have official word yet, but it is definitely a concern," he says.
Board member Jon Feist confirmed with Webster that if what Jensen said is true, then more money will need to be put up for the additional wiring.
Another possible issue is actually moving the network, servers and the firewall installation.
"We haven't yet received a price on that," Jensen says. "Hopefully it's not a huge number."
"We're getting to the homestretch of this project," Webster adds. "It's pretty exciting to see all of this come together."
In other business:
The board also approved $3,000 for high school field trips in the general fund budget for the 2014-2015 school year.
"I think $3,000 is a good amount because it's enough to help out and not too much to force fundraising to completely stop," board member Feist says.
The USC School Board increased allowances for all day meetings to $100, compared to the previous $75.
The board also noticed other schools offered free passes for activities to board members, so the board passed a motion for all board members to receive free passes to activities in 2014-2015.
The board also approved membership to the Minnesota Rural Education Association (MREA) for 2014-2015 for a fee of $1,795.