School Board to hear FMMS, FMHS bid options

One option includes rejecting $24 million in bids and rebidding entire project


FORT MADISON – Fort Madison School officials will be considering two different options as part of a $25 million facilities upgrade at the middle school and high school Tuesday.

At a special meeting set for Tuesday at 6 p.m., the council will hear from Carl A. Nelson regarding recommendations on bids that were received on the work.

Bids came in totaling just over $24 million on work to put all preK-6th grade students in an expanded middle school building and all 7th-12th grades in expanded high school facilities.

The bids however didn’t include any bids for drywall, insulation, and painting. The project received no bids for that work.

Carl A. Nelson is proposing two options. The first would be to approve about $21 million in project bids, but reject about $3 million in site paving, and rebid that work. That option also includes rebidding two other packages, including athletic equipment and the drywall/insulation/painting work that received no bids.

The other option is to reject all the bids entirely and rebid the whole project.

At a bid opening about two weeks ago, Chris Smith, vice president of Construction for Carl A. Nelson, asked the board for two more weeks’ bid time to see if the firm could generate more interest from bidders on the project.

Smith said the landscape of construction business right now is that it’s tough to get firms to commit to projects.

“It’s just a sign of the busy market right now. It’s our hope that with this two-week extension we’ll give people some time to work on it, and attract more bidders,” he told the board.

A public hearing on the project is set for 6 p.m. with a special meeting slated for 6:05 p.m. Written and oral comments will be heard at the hearing.

Also on the agenda is the hiring of John Devine as Richardson Elementary Principal. Devine will be replacing Todd Dirth who submitted his retirement that was approved at last week’s board meeting.

Devine comes to the district as a Facilitator for the Polk Alternative Education Center and
Bertram/Four Oaks in Cedar Rapids. He has also been a department chair, member of the
digital literacy team, and has co-taught classes in grades 2-12. He has a Board of Educational Examiners licenses of PK-12 Principal / PK-12 Special Education Supervisor and Evaluator.
He will be on a 260-day contract at a salary of $85,000.

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