Low CTE bid is 17 percent over

Published 12:33 pm Wednesday, August 30, 2017

School Board votes to press on

By Ryan Kushner

Staff writer

The Isle of Wight County School Board accepted a $3.6 million bid from Heartland Construction for new facilities at the county’s high schools, which was $600,000, or 17 percent, more than the division had estimated for the project, according to Superintendent Dr. Jim Thornton.

The construction will be for the building of a new welding lab at Smithfield High to go in the school’s “career building” (formerly known as the “E-building”), and a new construction lab at Windsor High. The labs are scheduled to be ready for students to use for Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses in January.

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The cost will also cover the construction of a new football field house and JROTC field house on the campus, planned to be completed in March, according to Thornton.{mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

Thornton said at a specially called School Board meeting Tuesday that the unanticipated $600,000 in the project will affect how the division bids for future projects in its new educational plan, which includes an influx of CTE courses and facilities at the division’s two high schools.

“In the grand scheme, it’s not that bad,” Thornton said of the unexpectedly high bid, which the Board approved unanimously at the meeting.

The division estimated $1 million, including soft costs, for the JROTC building, for which Heartland bid $750,000 to build. With that bid, Thornton said he expects to save about $130,000 on the building.

However, Heartland’s bid for the welding lab, football fieldhouse and construction lab was about $800,000 more than expected including soft costs, according to Thornton.

The division received five bids for the bundled project, Heartland’s being the lowest and the highest coming from PHC Industrial, which responded with $4.6 million to the RFP.

Thornton said that rejecting Heartland’s bid “throws [the division’s] timetable completely off.”

The next phase of the division’s three-year implementation plan, which included adding a nursing lab, among other new facilities, are set to initiate this spring to be ready for the next school year.

“We still need to hit these dates,” said Thornton, referring to the projects as having a “domino effect” on each other.

With the school year about to begin, the division is wrapping up phase 1A of its plan, which includes a cosmetology lab and greenhouse at Windsor High School.  {/mprestriction}