School board approves civic center work bids

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With a new Benson Civic Center appraisal coming in at $1.56 million, District 777’s Board of Education voted Monday night to proceed with $581,500 in renovations for the facility.

It approved the $493,000 base work bid of Kranz Construction of Milan as well as its $88,500 alternate bid for fire protection work. It left out Kranz’s alternate bids for a gymnastics pit for $130,000 and its alternate bid of $146,800 for ceiling insulation and protection.

It did agree to seek bids from local contractors on the gymnastics pit.

Because the facility is in a flood plain, under state law and local ordinance the school board couldn’t spend more than half the value of the building on improvements.  With a previous assessed market value of $822,000 improvements were limited to $411,000 - $82,000 below even the lowest base bid the board had received.

Recent bids the school board received for remodeling the north end of the building to house the district’s gymnastics program, as well as be available for tennis, volleyball, basketball and community activities, came in higher than expected.

Just the base bids ranged from $493,000 to $800,945. The base bids came with three additional construction add-ons that raised the price to between $834,100 and $1.125 million. Those alternate bids included adding the gymnastics pit, adding ceiling insulation and protection, and adding fire protection.

When the school board budgeted for improvements to the north end of the Benson Civic Center in February, it set the expenditure ceiling at $695,600. The new appraisal would allow up to $780,000 in work....


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