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School board OKs project bids

The Superior school district is hoping for a late fall this year as its list of construction projects continues to grow.

The Superior School Board approved two more projects Monday, accepting bids for pavement work at Four Corners and Lake Superior elementary schools and for a new softball field and tennis courts at Superior High School.

Board members gave unanimous approval to the $1.9 million project at SHS. The nearly $1.2 million needed for the pavement work also passed by a 4-0 vote.

Not present at Monday’s meeting were Christina Kintop, Craig Peterson and Mike Raunio.

Funding for the recent wave of projects comes from a $92.5 million referendum approved in April. Large-scale construction at SHS ($56 million) and Cooper Elementary School ($27 million) is slated to begin in 2017, but several smaller projects are scheduled to be completed this year before the snow falls.

The first round of expenditures came in July, when the Superior School Board approved contracts to replace roofing at Bryant and Great Lakes elementary schools.

The Board approved a nearly $700,000 bid from the Jamar Company for roofing work and a bid of about $86,000 from Lipe Brothers Construction for rough carpentry work. Both companies are based in Duluth.

"It came out really well," said Patrick Gallagher, Kraus-Anderson senior project manager. "Jamar, you caught them at the right time."

The company was looking for projects due to slowing of the mining and oil industries, Gallagher said, and came in with a bid lower than anticipated.

Work on the elementary school roofs began last month and is progressing rapidly. School district administrator Janna Stevens said the roof at Bryant needs only finishing touches, while work at Great Lakes is "well under way."

The newly approved pavement and softball field projects will begin as soon as possible, Stevens said. The goal is to have the pavement work done before the start of the 2016-17 school year. The new softball field is supposed to be ready for the 2017 season.

McCabe Construction will handle general site construction for the softball field and tennis courts. The company’s bid of $1,079,542 was about $320,000 lower than the competition.

Four Star Construction, which will build two dugouts, a press box and storage buildings, also had a better-than-expected bid at $391,399.

"They’re looking for work, so they came in with a low bid," said Len Albrecht, Board president.

The School Board also awarded contracts to Wires R Us for electrical work ($298,590) and ProGrass for artificial turf on the softball field ($178,445). The softball field turf will be the same quality as that on the baseball field and will have a matching eight-year warranty.

For pavement work at Four Corners and Lake Superior elementary schools, the Board approved bids for a total amount not to exceed $1,185,000.

Three local companies were awarded the work. Northern Interstate Construction will do the site work, Monarch Paving will install the pavement and Benson Electric will handle the electric component.

Also on Monday, the Board moved forward a proposal that would add 10 non-affiliated job classifications to the school district’s support staff handbook. Positions to be added are tutor, parent involvement coordinator, family educator, family resource center tutor, family resource center program assistant, IT specialist, MIS network specialist, IT support technician, bookkeeper and benefits specialist.

Stevens said the move would affect 14 employees who currently are not covered under any handbook.

If the Board gives final approval to the proposal at Tuesday’s meeting, the non-affiliated employees would receive sick days and personal days.

The maximum total estimated cost to the district would be $6,920 annually, said business manager Alayna Burger.