A favorable bidding climate saved the Reynoldsburg school district more than $1.6-million for work on the Summit Road site where two new schools will be built.

A favorable bidding climate saved the Reynoldsburg school district more than $1.6-million for work on the Summit Road site where two new schools will be built.

The Reynoldsburg Board of Education approved contracts July 21 for grading and drilling geo-thermal wells at the site where the new elementary and high schools will be constructed.

The contracts were awarded to the lowest bidders. George J. Igel & Co. Inc. bid $3,483,000 to do the grading and Middleton Geothermal Services LLC will be paid $1,642,461, to drill the thermal wells.

The original estimate to drill the geothermal wells was $1,831,484. Bids were received from Chesapeake Geosystems Inc. for $1,738,000 (5.1 percent below estimate); Loopmaster International Inc. for $1,745,350 (4.7 percent below estimate); and the Middleton Corp. for $1,642,461 (10.32 percent less than estimated.)

The original estimate for the site work was $4,937,567. The Igel bid was 29 percent below estimate. The only other bid for that project was from Trucco Construction Co. Inc. for $3,677,750 (25.51 percent below estimate.)

"We had the bid opening last week and those bids came in at $1,643,000 under estimate, just under 25 percent better than what we anticipated," district business manager Ron Strussion said. "It's just a sign of what the bidding climate is like out there right now."

Strussion said bids for contracts for the actual construction of the buildings will not go out until August.

In other business, the board gave the go-ahead last week to advertise for bids to install a new traffic signal on Waggoner Road at the entrance to the campuses of Waggoner Road junior high and middle schools.

Strussion said during the board's July 21 meeting the estimated cost to install a traffic signal at the site is $106,000. The money will come out of the district's permanent improvement fund.

Strussion said after the lowest bidder is chosen, construction could possibly begin by the start of this school year and be finished by the end of the first semester.

He said a traffic signal at the schools' entrance has been long awaited, but one has not been installed because when the two schools were opened in 2004 and 2005, traffic surveys still needed to be conducted.

"We had to hire traffic engineers to go in and do the survey work and justify why that needed a traffic signal," Strussion said. "What they found then is the traffic in and out does warrant a signal there."

Strussion said once the signal is installed, it will only be in operation during the morning and afternoons when the schools open and close.

During non-school hours, a tripping device will be in place so vehicles leaving the school grounds can trigger the light to operate normally.

dowen@thisweeknews.com