BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN Work on a new track, visitors bleachers, lighting, adding turf to two fields, and adding two tennis courts will be completed by July 31, 2017, after the Delano School Board accepted a $4,099,000 bid from Peterson Companies, of Chisago City, for the project during a special meeting Tuesday evening.
“You’re accepting the bid with the understanding we will be having discussions with all the parties involved with regards to making sure that bid stays within scope,” Superintendent Matt Schoen said.
The initial cost estimate for the project was $3.6 million.
One option for reducing the cost would be to opt for a different type of turf. Sprint turf would cost $141,000 less, and field turf would cost $82,700 less.
Another option would be to delay adding a fence around the soccer field, or using capital improvement funds for that project, rather than bond funds.
Vaughn Dierks, of Wold, noted that the district needed to accept a bid before being able to talk to a contractor about reducing the cost.
“Legally, we can’t talk with a contractor after the bids are received until after the bids are awarded,” Dierks said. “ . . . Then, we can start having conversations to say, ‘What do you see in the project; what should we be doing differently?’ They might have some great ideas we may want to consider that are cost-saving ideas.”
Dierks also addressed the likelihood of the project requiring soil corrective work.
“If we have to do soil corrective work, and it’s likely we have to do soil corrective work . . . we’ve identified their unit price up front,” Dierks said. “There is a certain amount built into the base bid. Soil corrections are the biggest factor we’re dealing with.”
Peterson’s unit price for soil corrections is $24 per cubic yard.
If other projects come in under budget, a couple alternates could be added into this project.
A track sandwich, which would add another layer to the track, would cost $164,000. Dierks said few districts choose that upgrade.
Another alternate would resurface existing tennis courts, and painting lines to allow for alternative uses, at a cost of $44,500. Schoen said that option was added to the project to see if the district could get a more competitive price for it, rather than bidding it as a standalone project.
Schoen said the district has time to make decisions about the project.
“We don’t have to make any decisions until the end of November,” Schoen said. “By that time, we’ll know what the new school and secondary school renovations will cost.”
Project manager Bob Prell, of ICS Consulting, noted the $65 million campus-wide project is on budget.