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R-I Board opens Middle School bids

The Fredericktown R-I Board of Education opened bids for the new Middle School building project just after 6 p.m., Thursday, June 30, 2011 with representatives of the bidding contractors in attendance.

According to the “Notice to Bidders,” the facility will be 47,500 square feet footprint. Base bids and bid alternates for the construction of the gym for the school were received from six construction companies. The following is just the base bids. All bidders were required to submit a five percent bid bond, which they did.

Penzel Base bid: $6,430,000

Wright Base bid: $5,863,000

Parsons Base bid of $6,999,900

Brown Base bid: $6,418,00

Zoellner Base bid: $6,724,800

Brockmiller Base bid: $5,964,000

The bids will be considered by the board for one week. A special meeting is scheduled for 6  p.m., Thursday, July 7 for the board’s decision. The R-I School Board reserves the right to reject any and all bids. Bidders and all sub-contractors will be required to follow and enforce all requirements of Missouri’s Prevailing Wage Law according to the bid notice.

In other board actions, Only one bid was received for bread service to the schools. The board accepted the Wonder Bread Company’s bid. A price increase will be instituted since the schools must follow the new Healthy, Hunger Free children’s law requiring fresh fruits and vegetables as well as whole grain breads. See last week’s Democrat News (June 29) for more food price increase details.

Only one bid was received for dairy service as well. The board accepted the bid from Prairie Farms by motion and vote.

Superintedent Dr. Kelly Burlison spoke about the local budget amendments for the R-1 School District. He told the board the figures the current budget reflects are as accurate as possible, given the fact the new figures will be coming toward the end of July.  Burlison expects to see about 92 percent funding coming from the state this year, which includes the classroom Trust Fund from casino gaming revenues. Burlison said about $6.3 million is his estimate, which is down from last year.

Transportation is also a significant budget problem according to the board. The School District has 21 buses which travel about 1,200 miles in a single school day according to administrators. Burlison said the transportation costs for the district run about $800,000 annually. Only $160,000 comes from the state in support of transportation for the district. Burlison said when the state cuts funding for transportation in schools, the cuts dramatically affect rural schools more than urban area schools, since urban areas usually have less traveling distances.

After some discussions on the American Revitalization and Recovery Act (ARRA), remaining funds and general revenue funds, the board passed the budget amendments by motion and vote to meet the state deadline of July 1 for school budgets. After considering all the state funding cuts and price increases in food, electricity, other  utilities and all necessary expenses, including unexpected drains on the school budget like potential mid-year funding cuts from the state; Burlison said, “By the end of the school year, we’ll be in the black,” regarding the budget.

The next regular school board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m., July 19. Currently, regular School Board meetings are scheduled for the third Tuesday of each month. The meetings are subject to change as approved by members of the R-1 School District Board of Education.

The board moved into closed session for personnel and real estate matters.

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