Southern Door Trims Over-Budget Project

The Southern Door School Board decided May 16 against including several extras in the remodeling and parking-lot portions of its $14.9 million, voter-approved capital-improvement projects – and it’s still going over budget.

The district plans to remodel several classroom spaces, demolish the administration house east of the school, and add parking during the first phase this summer. Then work going to bid in July includes constructing a greenhouse, possibly a garage where mechanics can work on buses, and an indoor practice and fitness facility with artificial turf and ceilings that are high enough for baseball and football practices.

After seeing bids for the first phase, Jason Melotte, serving as district administrator of general operations, said if the board included all of the extra “alternatives” on wish lists in the remodeling phase, the project would immediately go $641,651 over budget. He said the district would need to use up most of the $880,000 in contingency funds to finish the remodeling/parking phases, and that makes him nervous. If the board did not accept any of the alternative bids for extras, it would use about $440,000 in contingency funds.

Board members said they wanted to reject electrical ($200,000 over budget), as well as HVAC and landscaping bids, but Melotte noted that most of those contractors are too busy to bid. The lone HVAC bidder, Johnson and Jonet, quoted overtime labor in its $716,000 bid – which is $240,000 over budget. No local landscapers submitted bids, and Willems Landscaping bid $23,000 – which is $13,000 over the estimate.

Board members eliminated a subcontractor’s $4,118 flagpole installation and the architects’ location of a new flagpole, saying school staff could handle that work, or donors might help.

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