As it turns out, all the desks, chairs and other furnishings for a new high school don't come cheaply.
The Olentangy school board Feb. 8 approved a $912,477 contract with Martin Public Seating and a $309,059 contract with School Specialty Inc. to outfit the classrooms, offices and lounges in the 307,000-square-foot Berlin High School, which is under construction just outside Delaware city limits off Berlin Station Road in Berlin Township. It's set to open for the 2018-19 school year.
Jeff Gordon, the Olentangy Local School District's director of business management and facilities, said Seville-based Martin Public Seating will provide student desks and chairs, as well as furniture for offices, teachers lounges and music rooms. Mansfield-based School Specialty will provide shelves, filing cabinets and other furniture needed in smaller quantities than desks or chairs.
The firms were among four companies that submitted bids for the contracts.
Gordon said the contracts do not include "one-off" items such as shop tools, a laminating machine and other pieces of office equipment.
Superintendent Mark Raiff said the cost of the furnishing contracts did not come as a surprise to district officials.
"Those are in line with what we had projected," he said. "When we set the budget for Berlin, when we did the bond (issue), we took the cost of the furnishings for Orange High School and (adjusted for inflation)."
District voters in March 2016 approved a $79.6 million, no-new-millage bond issue in advance of the construction of Berlin High School. The vast majority of the funding, about $69 million, will be spent on the new school.
Gordon said the mild winter of 2016-17 gave workers a great start on the building project that paid off this winter.
"We're in great shape at this point," he said. "This year's weather hasn't hurt us because we're inside (the building) at this point."