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Ignacio Elementary set to open today
2/4/2014 By: Carole McWilliams
Ignacio’s new elementary school opens today.
Students will show up today morning at the old IES (grades K-3) and the old junior high (grades 4-5) and then travel via bus to the new school on County Road 320.
The district will have a ribbon cutting for students at noon, and one for the community at 5:30 p.m., followed by an open house.
At the Jan. 16 school board meeting, project manager Rick Taves said new furniture would go in starting on Jan. 20. Teachers would come in on Jan. 30.
“The library may not be 100 percent completed,” he advised. “The classrooms and offices were a priority. They thought the library was the least critical. It will probably be 98 percent, with people in there working for about a week.” That work will happen after 3 p.m.
With grades 4 and 5 out of the old elementary school, senior high students will move into the old junior high on Feb. 18, so work can begin on the high school, starting with asbestos removal.
At their Jan. 16 meeting, the school board approved FCI as the general contractor for the high school. FCI also built the new middle school.
The other project bidders were Okland, which build the new elementary school, and H.W. Houston, based in Pueblo.
Superintendent Rocco Fuschetto said the bids were evaluated on a point system based on price, local contractor participation, and overall qualification of the contractors.
Taves, project manager for the district and RTA Architects, described how those were tallied.
Houston had the lowest base bid at $17.75 million, he said, with FCI next at $17.78 million. Okland came in at $18.3 million.
Okland came in best with 40 percent local contractor participation, followed by FCI at 38 percent. Houston was 18 percent, Taves said.
In addition to the base bid were project alternates. Some will be added in if money is available. With alternates totaling $750,000 added in, FCI was the low bidder at $18.595 million, followed by Houston at $18.6 million and Okland at $19.28 million.
The $10,000 difference in the two low bids on an $18 million project “shows we had really good bid documents,” Taves said.
Based on the scoring system, FCI came out on top.
Board president Toby Roderick commented, “This is the first time I’ve been in on the opening of the bids. It’s an eye opener. It’s a lot of money.”
FCI representative Mike Foutz said, “We’re excited to be part of your team again.”
The board approved the contract at a special meeting on Jan. 28, so FCI can start issuing contracts to sub-contractors.
Fuschetto said, “I was very pleased with the bids for the high school. Before the contract, we need to discuss the baseball field, sod versus (artificial) turf.” Turf costs around $160,000 more.
Roderick said the district will make that back in a couple years with lower maintenance costs than for sod. “After 10 years, you are way head,” he said.
Board member Troy Webb added, “I think it’s a good investment in our community. It’s a program that’s growing.”
Fuschetto said, “My understanding is FCI wants to get the track and football field so we can use the football field in August. It will be (artificial) turf.”
Webb said, “By having a quality sports complex with the turf, it will create a buzz about the community and draw back some kids that we’ve lost.”
FCI and RTA will present a construction schedule and final design at the Feb. 13 board meeting.
On Jan. 16, the board also approved the contract for asbestos abatement, with a low bid of $245,046 and a completion date of April 7.
Fuschetto said, “I asked for an alternate for the old administration building. I don’t feel at this time that we can execute an alternate for that because we are so tight (on the budget) with the high school.”
Roderick said, “We aren’t disturbing it, so it’s still safe.”
The plan is to move the Ignacio Academy (the district’s alternative school for grades 6-12) into the old district administration building in March, Fuschetto said.