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.

  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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