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home : schools and education : schools May 29, 2016

4/2/2014 9:53:00 PM
Chelan school board rejects CTE Building/Tennis Court bids
Matt Baide
Staff Writer

After much discussion and meetings, the Chelan School Board has decided to reject all bids on the new CTE building and tennis courts.
The results of the bids for the building of a CTE building and new tennis courts was a discussion item at last Tuesday's Chelan School Board meeting.
Gary Wetch from Loofburrow Wetch Architecture was at the meeting to explain to the board the results of the bid process.
There were three bidders on the construction of the project, the lowest of which came from Waynco Construction from Spokane, Wash. at a total base bid of $2,845,800. Wetch said that the total came out higher than he projected, as Wetch projected that the cost would be about $275 per square foot for construction costs, but the lowest bid came in at about $335 per square foot construction cost. The budgeted cost of the project was $2.5 million, with the bids exceeding the budget by at least $800,000 the budget after all the fees and taxes were included.
The board and Chelan School district superintendent were surprised with the results. Wetch laid out three options for the board at the meeting. The first option was to take the lowest bid and proceed forward with the project even though it is over budget. The cost of the first option was $3,079,155.60 with the contract plus sales tax. The second option was to take out the construction of the new corridor that would make the new building separate, with a breezeway in between the two buildings. That option would cost $2,710,193.60 with the contract and sales tax. The final option Wetch laid out was to reject all bids and to go out and get the project rebid.
The board discussed all of the options that Wetch laid out and discussed some other options like taking out the construction of the new tennis courts.
The board came to a general consensus during the discussion portion of the meeting to reject all of the bids. But when it came to the action portion of the meeting, the board changed when Jeff Fehr spoke out about his degree of uncertainty with the decision to reject all bids.
"What agg(ravates) me about the decision is that we are taking the decision out of our hands," Fehr said. "Who knows what's going to happen. I just don't like losing control of our decision, I feel like we are losing control of our decision a little bit by rebidding it. It could very well be higher."
After a lot of discussion, the board decided to table the decision for a couple of days and come back in a special meeting, last Friday, March 28, to make the decision.
At the Friday meeting, Chelan Middle School Principal Brad Wilson and Chelan High School Principal Barry DePaoli were in attendance at the meeting to voice their opinions. Wilson said that he would like to have this building done as soon as possible to free up some space for the middle school kids to have more time in the computer labs for students to learn about and how to use technology.
"It would create quite a bit of difficulty if the building isn't ready by September 1," DePaoli said. "If there is any way we can make this happen September 1, we really need to do it...We're banking on it...That's really important to us."
An email from Chelan Tennis Coach Marty Rothlisberger stressed the importance of getting the new tennis courts. He was hoping that the school would ideally get eight tennis courts so they could host league and District matches.
"The tennis courts have been kicked down the road over and over again for over a decade. We can't do this again," Rothlisberger said in the email.
After discussion with Wetch through a telephone conference, the board ultimately decided that the decision to reject all bids and get the project rebid was the best way to go. A motion was made to reject all bids, which was passed unanimously.
Following the decision, everyone in attendance agreed that the right decision was made. DePaoli said that he would have liked to withdrawn his previous statement after being presented with all of the information.

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