Bids for the planned renovation of DeKalb West School have come in more than $1.4 million higher than the school system’s architect initially estimated.At Thursday night's regular meeting of the school board, Jason Morris of Kaatz, Binkley, Jones & Morris Architects, Inc. of Mount Juliet, announced the low bid for the project has come in at slightly more than $4.8 million.The firm’s original estimate for the addition of eight “tornado-safe” classrooms, new restrooms, a new secure front entrance, a new office, a clinic, a conference room, and a guidance and teacher work area, as well as a kitchen renovation and a re-roof of the old portion of the school in Liberty was $3.4 million.J. Cumby Construction of Cookeville submitted the lowest bid of three bids to complete the project.The base bid is $2,179,000 to complete the West School addition, $75,341 to purchase the roofing materials; $509,000 to re-roof the existing structure and $192,872 to purchase the roofing materials, $846,000 for the kitchen/cafeteria renovation and $12,866 to buy the roofing materials for that job.The bid also includes $986,924 for the cost of energy-saving renovations on all school buildings by Johnson Controls.The school system was approved for Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant funds totalling more than $1.5 million to build eight tornado safe rooms at DeKalb West School last summer.The plan required a $600,000 local funding match (12.5 percent) to acquire the grant money.The county commission approved a $3.4 million note last July to cover the grant match and roof repair work on other schools.The note was to cover the local grant match for the safe rooms along with an $850,000 cafeteria and kitchen renovation at DeKalb West School as well as roofing projects at DeKalb West, DeKalb Middle and Smithville Elementary School.“The project bid came in over budget,” Morris told the board. “We did the bid with a base bid and a couple of alternates. The alternates that we chose to put on there, one was to re-roof the existing building and the other was to add onto the kitchen-cafeteria and dining room.”The news came to the chagrin of board members, who are already seeking ways to cut the school system’s budget in a tough economic year.The architect suggested more than $1 million in spending cuts to the project, including putting off the re-roof at DeKalb West, which would amount to a savings of more than $7000,000, until more funds are available.School officials, however, said that the nearly 20-year-old roof was in need of immediate repair, and that additional funds do not exist.“What we're proposing to do at this point is to take the base bid from Cumby Construction with the kitchen cafeteria and not take the re-roof of the existing building,” Morris told the board.“Pull that out of the project and then bid it separately at a different time.
West School bid comes in high
Low offer more than $1.4 million over architects estimate