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USC has 39 bids for building new school

By Staff | Mar 17, 2013

United South Central School Board members and staff meeting with architects

The new $28.825 million dollar United South Central school took center stage three days last week.

The Wells City Council approved the school district’s requests to rezone the 63-acre site to R1 (general residential) and a conditional use permit at its meeting held Monday night.

USC Superintendent Jerry Jensen was in attendance and gave city officials a brief update on the project.

“I think everything is falling into place and moving along. So far, the project is pretty much on schedule,” he says.

The next night School Board members held a special meeting with the project’s architects, Jim Wilson and Dan Goemann of SGN Wendel of Minneapolis.

For two hours, board members reviewed a site plan.

They looked at color schemes for rooms and walls, types of tiling for restrooms, the kitchen and other areas in the building.

At one point, some board members tested out to get a feel for what style of chair should be selected for the auditorium.

On Thursday afternoon, contractors and representatives of construction companies gathered in Gordon Hansen Auditorium at the high school for the opening of Phase 1 bids.

In nine separate work categories, 39 bids were received.

“It was a very good turnout. Realistically, the number of bids was more than we expected,” says Mark Kotten of Kraus-Anderson Construction and senior manger for the project.

In the next few days, Kotten and project manager Justin Webster will be analyzing details of each bid submitted.

“For each work scope, we want to make sure the bids are complete and if any additional information is needed,” says Kotten.

Webster says the School Board should have recommendations on which bids to accept at its meeting this Tuesday night.

The advertising for Phase 2 bids will be March 25 and those received will be opened on April 18.

The construction schedule is to have a ceremonial ground-breaking date on April 13, with actual groundwork to start May 13.

The 155,000-square-foot school will have a capacity for 750 students in grades pre-K-12.

Also, athletic facilities and bus garages are part of the project, which is expected to be completed by the 2014 school year.

In another matter, district officials must fill a vacancy on the board.

School Board members at the special meeting accepted the resignation of Kari Jacobson, effective Feb. 24.

Because she had less than two years remaining on a four-year term, someone will have to be appointed.

Board chair Kathy Krebsbach says she talked with former board member Christie Wetzel, who did not file for re-election last August, but was told she was not interested.

She asked the board if only persons who had served in the past or have shown an interest should be considered.

It was decided that Krebsbach will contact former board members from the past eight years.