Morenci schools to save with new bids 5.13.09

Written 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.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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