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.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • 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.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • 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.
  • 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.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.

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