2nd time around

Phase II bids re-issued, adjustments made to plan


“We feel very confident that we have a good shot at coming in at the project budget we originally established.”

After bids for Phase II of the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse project came in higher than expected earlier this month, district Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte shared some changes made to the plan at Monday night’s Marshalltown School Board meeting.

The board approved the re-issuance of bids unanimously. In the previous meeting, bids had come in about $1.5 million higher than the planned budget of under $7 million for the project.

“We’ve had two value engineering meetings,” Schutte said. “We believe, conservatively, that we value engineered about $1.3 million from the project without significantly negatively impacting any of the student activity spaces, which was our goal.”

Examples of changes made to the project design included using some spaces more efficiently while doing away with other spaces.

“There was a future locker room space that would, in the meantime, operate as a storage room space,” Schutte said of the original design. A space originally planned as a storage area was eliminated from the plan, saving costs.

He also said there were small adjustments made in the project’s size, changes on the order of feet and inches, that “add up” to significant savings.

“We were of the belief, going in, that we were going to need to do a significant amount of sewer work that was more city-related than school-related,” Schutte said. “We came to find that, in essence, there wasn’t a formal obligation to do that.”

That move, he added, is set to save about “a couple hundred thousand dollars.”

One noticeable change from the original design that might be noticed is the lack of a rock climbing wall from the gymnasium area.

“We had planned for a rock wall to be in that auxiliary gym, we decided to bid that out as an alternate,” Schutte said. “We thought, just as a conservative measure, we’d push that into an alternate bid.”

Bidding is set to be complete by Aug. 17, and the goal is to have board action on bids received during the second board meeting in August.

Also approved Monday was the construction of two playground areas, one at Woodbury Elementary School and the other at Franklin Elementary School.

The Woodbury project was approved at a cost of $71,022 and will be carried out by Boland Recreation Inc. The Franklin project was approved at $$65,250 and will be carried out by National Playground Construction.

Board Secretary Brian Bartz said the projects are necessary at the two buildings.

In other business

The board approved a 1.7 percent total package increase and a 3-year contract for Schutte.

Also approved was the tentative agreement settlement between the district and bus drivers and monitors, which includes a 2.97 percent total package increase.

Allergy policy language was added to all 2017-18 school year handbooks.

A presentation featuring Emerson Process Management employees who had volunteered to tutor reading and math was given at Monday’s meeting. Tutors Julie Hitchens, Sam Ibarra, Sara Duncan and Jennifer Frye, along with Lynn Jensen, discussed the “rewarding” experience of helping Lenihan Intermediate School students learn.

Jensen said it was good to see the smiles of tutors when they returned from mentoring, and to hear the stories of their time with the kids.

Lenihan students and staff also praised the volunteers’ mentoring. A total of 38 volunteers from Emerson volunteered at the intermediate school this year, including a special education class.

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. July 17 at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. It will be the only regular meeting in July.


Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611 or asodders@timesrepublican.com