Morenci schools to save with new bids 5.13.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Morenci superintendent of schools Kyle Griffith remembers the criticism he heard a year ago when the decision was made to delay maintenance projects for a year.

In 2008, voters approved funding for a variety of updates, but bids came in surprisingly high and the project was put on hold.

The holes in the elementary school parking loop pavement grew larger. The running track continued to deteriorate and no home meets were scheduled. The old windows in the elementary gymnasium continued to leak air.

Bids were sought again this spring and now board members are looking at a much different situation.

“By rebidding, we saved significantly,” Griffith said. “I expected some savings, but I was surprised by how much.”

First, the district gained almost $18,000 in interest by holding off for a year. Second, bids were about $175,000 lower this time around.

All of the proposed projects can now be completed, and some additional funds will be available for technological upgrades. Griffith said about $30,000 comes out of the general fund annually for technology needs.

Griffith said there were more bids received this year and bidding was much more competitive. He also noted the price of fuel is about half of what it was during the previous bidding cycle.

The most significant savings were in the category “earthwork/site utilities” where the price dropped by $80,000 and in “general trades” where a savings of $59,800 was realized.

Board members Monday approved bids from nine companies. Work is expected to get underway in June when students are out for the summer.

  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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