The Southwest Licking School Board on Sept. 20 voted 3-0 to approve a bid from Robertson Construction to add three new classrooms to Kirkersville Elementary School.
Board members Dave Engle and Roger Zeune were absent.
The bid was significantly below estimate.
"This is really going to help our permanent improvement budget for the year because we had a big chunk of money set aside for this," board president Don Huber said. "Now we can put it toward other priorities. This is great."
Treasurer Richard Jones said Robertson's bid of $845,300 was the lowest of five. He said project architecture firm Fanning Howey had reviewed the entire project with Robertson Construction, and its personnel still were comfortable with the bid. Jones said the original estimate for the project was $2 million but was revised to $1.2 million per Fanning Howey's recommendation. He said Robertson's bid was "a nice surprise."
"We're very thankful for that," he said.
Superintendent Robert Jennell said Fanning Howey has worked with Robertson Construction on several other projects and that the district has a positive history with the company.
"The project will begin as soon as materials and things are delivered," he said.
He estimated construction would begin two to three weeks after the Sept. 20 meeting. The goal is to complete the project by the 2013-14 school year.
"It's exciting," Huber said. "It's exciting getting a good price, and getting it done is exciting. In the meantime, you have to endure some dust and noise."
In April, board members agreed that adding three larger-than-usual rooms to Kirkersville Elementary School was preferred over adding four smaller, standard-size rooms because the larger rooms would help the district reach its eventual goal of providing all-day kindergarten classes. Board members said kindergarten classes demand more room than the higher grades. Three new rooms would not be enough for the district to realize all-day kindergarten yet, but board members agreed that building four smaller rooms would derail the goal entirely.
The entire addition will be roughly 3,400 to 3,500 square feet, with each classroom having 1,068 square feet.