Roundhouse Phase II bid awarded

Students steal the show with ST Math demo at school board meeting

After months of deliberation, design, bidding, re-design and re-bidding, Phase II of the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse project has a construction firm to get the addition built: Ball Team LLC of Ankeny.

“I know that there were a number of items that were presented to the board in a public hearing on behalf of another construction firm, concerns and/or questions,” said Marshalltown Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte at Tuesday evening’s Marshalltown School Board meeting.

One of those concerns was the use of “voluntary alternates” in the bid documents sent to construction firms. Gary Schulte of FEH Design, the firm that designed Phase II, explained further.

“There are different definitions for voluntary alternate: one of them is when a contractor is bidding on a project, they provide an alternate design, something that isn’t even requested, but which is offered up by the contractor as an option,” he said. “That is not what we did on this project.”

Schulte said the voluntary alternate changes were not “open ended” in the Phase II bid documents.

“We asked for a voluntary alternate, but we set the parameters that they had to follow when they do the design for that voluntary alternate,” Schulte said. “What that is typically called is ‘performance-based design.'”

Additionally, Schulte said any voluntary alternate changes have to be approved by the FEH design team before being made. The use of voluntary alternates brought the project within the district’s $6.8 million budget, and was not a requirement for bidders, he added.

The addition of the supplemental math program ST Math at the district was celebrated Tuesday night as well. Students in first-, third- and sixth grade demonstrated their prowess in the game-based learning program, which acts as an addition to the district’s K-6 curriculum Go Math.

“I was able to work with [Schutte] to help raise the $60,000 from the business community; I just want to say thank you to the business community for coming together with those funds,” said David Barajas of the Marshalltown Regional Partnership.

Marshall Economic Development (MED), a part of the Regional Partnership, donated $10,000 to the implementation of ST Math, along with multiple corporations and organizations around Marshalltown. The money MED donated came out of a special STEM fund created through corporate gifts six years ago, totaling $75,000.

Some of that money has gone to Project Lead the Way and scholarships as well.

Other community donors include the Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation, Emerson Process Management-Fisher Controls, Lennox Industries, Mechdyne Corporation, Marshalltown Company, JBS Swift and Co., and many more.

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave.


Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611 or