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Ashwaubenon school board approves bids for kitchen/cafeteria, health clinic-fitness center

More money allocated from general fund

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

ASHWABENON – The Ashwaubenon school board approved a series of bids Monday, March 12, for the high school kitchen/cafeteria and health clinic-fitness center renovation project.

The bids included four prime contractors – general construction, electrical, plumbing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) – as well as a controls contractor for HVAC.

In addition, a $100,000 allowance for kitchen equipment was added with the bids approved by the board to bring the total budget allocations to $1,635,392.

The district’s buildings and grounds coordinator, Tom Schmitt, informed the board about the low bids received and how he “value-engineered” items out of the project to get the overall cost down to the previous budget allocations of $1,534,146.

“Part of this value engineering out of the project, what we did is we eliminated everything that we could in the fitness center area, with the exception of putting up the beams and the shoring,” he said. “Right now, there’s a temporary shoring that’s holding up the roof. We want to be able to eliminate – get that out – and then prepare that space for the fitness center in the future.”

Schmitt noted the putting off the completion of the fitness center would be a “deferred cost” and not really a cost savings for work that would be done in the future.

He said the project plans call for the kitchen/cafeteria to be completed before the start of the 2018-19 school year.

He said some of the “true cost savings” that could be made include using aluminum wire instead of copper wire where the chiller and electrical panel is located as well as using CPVC pipe fittings instead of copper pipe fittings.

Though $40,000 could be saved by substituting epoxy-type flooring instead of installing a terrazzo floor in the cafeteria, Schmitt noted a terrazzo floor would last longer and recommended having that type rather than epoxy flooring.

“The difference between the terrazzo and epoxy is the terrazzo is a 50-year floor and the epoxy floor covering is more like a 10- or 15-year floor that has to be replaced,” he said. “And maintenance costs – lifecycle costs – for the terrazzo is superior to any floor finish you can put down there.”

Schmitt said the flooring was part of the general construction bid with a “really, really good number” of around $16 a square foot for terrazzo, which would be in the cafeteria but not extend into the fitness center.

“What we’re doing with the fitness center is we’re relocating all of the storm and sewer lines and then the hot water lines that were in and about the walls there,” he said. “We’re relocating those and then we’re going to finish the floor into a leveled surface for whatever flooring is chosen in the future.”

Instead of using $30,681 from the general fund balance, Schmitt asked to board to increase that amount to around $131,000 after some work in the initial phase of the project was moved into this budget year and around $149,000 went back into the fund balance.

The budget source allocations besides the fund balance include $634,000 from the capital improvements plan for 2017-18 and 2018-19, $350,000 from the food service fund balance and $519,465 from the health insurance fund balance.

When including the deductions in the contracted amounts, board members approved the following low bids:

  • General construction, Milbach Construction, $589,988.
  • Electrical, Elmstar Electric, $282,053.
  • HVAC, AMA Heating, $489,810.
  • Plumbing, Johnson and Jonet, $113,750.
  • Controls HVAC, Automated Logic, $59,791.

Instead of the district hiring a general contractor, Schmitt said he will be the project manager.

“You’ll see all of the trades were bid separately, which is not typical of a construction project like this, where normally they would provide their bids to a general contractor,” he said. “I’ll be project-managing this, so really I’ll have control over all of the contracts and each one of the contractors. That in itself is a cost savings to the school district.”

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