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.