MPS reno plan

An architectural rendering shows the basic layout of the primary school once renovated.

The primary school will officially go under the knife in June.

Last week, the Madison County School Board voted 5-0 to award the renovation project to Culpeper-based Taft Construction. The $6,573,000 bid was the lowest of the seven received and far lower than the originally estimated construction price of $9.95 million.

“When you look at the square footage being done here, the numbers are working out to $135-145 per square foot,” Grimm and Parker Principal Steve Mundt said. “That’s unheard of.”

Due to the price difference, school board members also opted to include two alternates that were made part of the bidding process. Replacing the perimeter concrete sidewalks adds $154,000 to the project. Repairing and recoating existing metal fascia and metal panels adds $24,000. The larger generator, which was included in the bid estimates and could be used to operate the school as an emergency shelter, will remain in the project. Bidders were asked to put a price on installing a smaller generator instead. Taft estimated the switch would save $90,000.

Clerk of the works Curtis Elswick of Skanska said the project, including soft costs for design fees, project management, furnishings and equipment, technology, testing and inspections and other needs, plus contingency, is $8,532,321.

Following the board meeting, county supervisors voted at their meeting to endorse the school board to officially award the bid and sign the contract with Taft Construction. They also opted to waive any tipping fees associated with the construction and appropriated $299,342 to cover the next phase of Grimm and Parker’s work.

Supervisors plan to have funding in place for the project by June.

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