Gearing up for phase two of the new school building project, the United South Central School Board met on?Tuesday, April 30 to review bids.
In conjunction with this, a couple from Wells addressed the board with ideas on what could be done with the old school building once it's unoccupied.
The couple, Paul and Krista Thomsen, have a list of possibilities they would like considered for the building.
"If at all possible, we'd like to see it used for other means," says Krista Thomsen. "We've had roughly 15 to 20 different ideas to be in it. It would be commercial, residential, non-profit, kind of a whole hodge-podge of ideas."
The Thomsens were advised to bring their ideas to the board in order to gauge the interest of the board members to see if their plans are feasible and acceptable.
"We want the town to support it, the city to support it, tax payers to support it," she says.
Previously, the board was leaning toward demolishing the old building. With considering other options, the board would post a request for bids and look into the possibilities presented.
The one-year wait to get into the building was not a concern for the couple. They admit the project will take a lot of planning and time.
Some of the thoughts the Thomsens presented to the board include apartment space, a fitness center, expansion of a local church, and bringing in other small businesses.
The Thomsens stress that it's not their intention to draw in businesses from downtown Wells, but instead to draw in new businesses to the area.
"The intention is to utilize the school as is," says Paul Thomsen. "And in some cases, beautify and bring it back up to the original standards or the original look of the school.?
"The main reason we're here," continues Thomsen, "is to find out whether the board is actually interested in leaving the school as a building or tearing it down and going that route."
After hearing the proposal, the board decided to take a step back to look at what they need to do in order to make the process fair to everyone. The board members were not clear on the procedure, but they were open to this new possibility as being a viable option.
The bid process took up a large portion of the remainder of the meeting. The total cost of the new school building project is estimated to be $28.825 million.
There were two bids that were not accepted by the board at this meeting. One was for special doors, which was rejected. The other was for terrazzo flooring, which was tabled until the special board meeting set for May 15 at 4:30 p.m.
Here's how the second bid package breaks down. The board approved the following bids:
Final cleaning - ServiceMaster of Mankato/ Waseca for $34,658;
Carpentry - Wagner Construction Company for $200,000;
Architectural wood casework (materials only) - Southern Minnesota Woodcraft, Inc. for $339,000;
Interior joints sealants - Waumandee Creek Sealants, LLC for $35,000;
Spray-On insulation - Therma Spray, Inc. for $47,450;
Drywall - Pietsch Construction, Inc. for $523,900;
Tiling - Multiple Concepts Interiors, Inc. for $128,900;
Wood flooring - Baseman Floors, Inc. for $164,373;
Flooring - Rickway Carpet, Inc. for $166,500;
Painting - Reichel Painting Company, Inc. for $149,720;
Specialties - Bartley Sales Company, Inc. for $74,285;
Partitions - J&B Walls, Inc. for $19,000;
Metal lockers (materials only) - Olympus Lockers & Storage Products, Inc. for $100,400;
Food service equipment - Culinex for $369,551.97;
Projection screens - Video Services Inc. of Mankato for $7,120;
Laboratory equipment - Northwest Cabinets, Inc. for $71,155;
Stage curtains and tracks combined with athletic equipment - The Centre Stage Manufacturing Company, LLC for $127,900;
Auditorium seating - Haldeman-Homme, Inc. for $92,663;
Gymnasium bleachers - Seating &?Athletic Facility Enterprises, LLC for $107,292;
Fire suppression - Quality Design and Fire Protection for $214,900;
Mechanical - Javens Mechanical Contracting Co. for $4,349,000;
Test and balance - Marcus Global, Inc. d/b/a SMB of Minnesota for $58,800;
Electrical - Javens Electric, Inc. for $2,775,162;
Data and communications - Bevcomm for $144,188.80;
Bituminous paving - Ulland Brothers for $605,782;
Site concrete - DJ?Siehndel Construction for $257,043.40.
The ground breaking ceremony for the new building is scheduled for May 15 at 2 p.m. If the weather does not cooperate, the fallback date is May 17.