Mt. Vernon Register-News

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December 20, 2013

MVTHS not ready to award bids

MT. VERNON — Mt. Vernon Township High School officials say more planning is needed before bids can start being awarded for the new school project.

The bidding issue was discussed at length at Thursday night’s special meeting of the MVTHS Board of Education.

Consultants had hoped to come to the meeting with recommendations for awarding bids for the 10 critical construction projects.

Last week, bids were received and opened for roughly 25 construction projects or “work categories” being bid out for the new school.

However, since the total bids came in at about $6 million over-budget, more study is needed before contracts can be awarded, said Chris Nisbet, project director for the McCarthy firm.

“Ideally, when we set this meeting up, we were going to have recommendations for you,” Nisbet said. “I can make the recommendation, but we’re not at budget yet, so we want to get all 25 work categories lined up (first).”

Consultants have developed roughly $3.5 million in cost-saving measures that, if implemented, would reduce the budget overrun. Even so, that still leaves the project about $2.5 million over-budget.

To deal with this issue, it’s possible FGM Architects may have to redesign portions of the school, which would require a rebidding of some of the work projects.

MVTHS officials have scheduled a special Building Committee meeting for 3:30 p.m. Dec. 30 to continue discussions on this matter.

At this point, the groundbreaking for the new school likely won’t occur until late January.

“We just need more time to get our money decisions made,” said MVTHS Board President Carl Miller.

In addition Thursday, the board examined several options for generating additional revenue for the new school project, using as a guide recommendations from the district’s financial adviser Tim King.

The options include using the district’s remaining building bond authority, extending tax cap borrowing for a full 20 years and selling alternate revenue bonds.

No firm decision has been made regarding these options.

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