School board accepts bids for tennis courts

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 3/22/00.

The Paynesville Area School Board at their Tuesday night meeting accepted the low bid of Duininck Brothers, Prinsburg, to construct four new tennis courts.

The new tennis courts will be constructed between the vocational building and district garage. Once the construction of the tennis courts is completed, work will start on the new auditorium and fitness center.

Kevin Becker, the school district's construction manager, said they reviewed three bids. The bids contained six alternates to the project, which included fencing around the tennis courts, electric work, and different paving options.

The board accepted Duininck's base bid of $61,589 along with the option to fence the courts ($28,566), and the option to pave the practice area ($8,350). The total amount for the project is $98,505.

In looking at ways to save money, the board suggested lighting only three of the four tennis courts, a savings of $12,000. A practice board, which will be located between the school garage and the new courts, will be made by the district and not purchased. If built as part of the project it could cost about $6,700.

The district will save $25,000 by not moving the fiber optic line which runs under the lot. Becker said he talked with Viacom and was told the fiber optic line is at least three feet down. To construct the new courts, they shouldn't need to disturb the surface more than a foot. "The worse case scenario is that if the line is cut, the district could be without Internet access for a day," said Howard Caldwell, superintendent.

Becker told the board the new site is ideal for tennis courts. The present courts have lived way beyond expectations, considering the poor soils under the courts. The life expectancy of the new courts is 25 to 30 years.

Becker informed the board that the bidding climate is favorable with contractors looking for work from Fargo to Duluth. "With the warm weather last fall, many companies finished their work early and now are looking for work," Becker added.

The design drawings for the auditorium and fitness center should be done by March 27 and the bids could be out by early April. The bid opening date is tentatively set for May 4. "Hopefully, the construction could start by June 5," Becker said.

"When placing alternatives on the construction specifications, you need to look at the complexity of the project. Many items can be added later," he told the board. He suggested waiting with the auditorium lighting package until after the framework is up. A better bid could be obtained if it were pulled out separately.

Architect Troy Miller said they scaled back some areas in the auditorium. "We have been brainstorming, trying to keep the base bid below budget," Miller said. Deb Glenz, board member, asked why the project was over budget. Becker said the soil correction work played a big role in the overrun of costs, adding about $100,000 to the project. Other design changes also increased the project estimate.

The largest change made in the auditorium plans is moving the bathrooms from the hallway by the fitness center to the area between the gym and auditorium.

The design changes also include a narrower hallway and moving the proposed elevator shaft. The proposed corridor was designed twice as wide as the present corridor by the gym. In the new design, the corridor is the same width as the present hallway.

"We needed to move the shaft away from the existing building because of the poor soils," Miller said.

Miller explained that in the new design, the auditorium seating area will be shaped like a bowl, providing everybody with a better view.

Miller received confirmation from the state fire marshal's office that everything needing to be brought up to code can be rolled into the new project. He also informed the board the new ventilation system in the basement and ceiling repair could be covered by health and safety dollars available at the state level. Miller said the scope of work needed to improve the existing gym wall will also be covered under health and safety dollars provided by the state.

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