School board approves bid for gym

By Nancy Gutierrez

The Lindsay Unified School District board approved a $2.8 million bid submitted by Oral E. Micham Inc. for the construction of the multi use gymnasium at Steve Garvey Junior High School.

The bid amount is higher than anticipated. Del Corley, director of construction, maintenance and operations, and LUSD administration expected the cost at $2.2 to 2.4 million.

"We can hold off on accepting the bid," Corley said, "We could redesign and then go to bid again. But bids could possibly be the same amount."

Corley said he felt strongly about accepting Micham's bid and asked the board to approve.

"I don't think we'll do any better if we wait," he said.

State funds from SB 1795 will cover $1,131,760 million of the project leaving a balance of $1,681,240 million to be paid with funds from the school bond that Lindsay voters passed in February 2002.

Micham's bid also included alternate deductives or areas in the construction plan that can be taken out to decrease the total cost of construction. Exterior basketball courts amounting to $78,000 and a parking lot at $75,000 were designated as deductive alternate one and deductive alternate two. If the board chooses to deduct these items from the plan that would decrease the amount the district must pay from $1,681,240 million to $1,528,240 million.

Business Manager Les Henson said if the decision is made to remove the basketball courts and parking lot from the construction plan, funds could possibly be taken from a deferred maintenance fund to build the aforementioned facilities.

Because more money will be coming from the bond funds the district could have to scale down other purchases previously planned.

"The cost is so high something is going to have to give. There's not enough money to do everything," Henson said.

A 400 percent increase in lumber costs and the increased cost of workers' compensation added to the unexpected high bids from the six companies that applied. The highest bid was $3,215,000 million from KH construction.

Corley said construction on the facility should begin as soon as possible. The board will hold a ground breaking ceremony for the multi use gym at 4 p.m. on Nov. 10 at the construction site.

In other Business:

  • The board approved a resolution to approve the issuance and sale of certificates of participation to finance a Qualified Zone Academy Program (QZAP). The district successfully applied for QZAP funds that were approved by California Department of Education on June 25, 2003. The $1,500,000 million is an interest-free loan that will be paid back over 14 years. The funds will be used for construction of a central kitchen at Garvey and the purchase of security cameras throughout the district. Annual payment of approximately $91,000 will be paid through a combination of the food service budget and the general fund.

  • The board approved resolution to establish a special reserve fund for the QZAB. The fund would record revenues and expenditures separately from all other funds. The fund will record financial activities in accordance with the district application for QZAB funds.

    Henson said the reserve fund will accrue interest that can be placed back into the fund or can be put towards the annual payment among other options.

  • After months of negotiations an agreement was settled on by the Lindsay Teachers Association and LUSD for the collective bargaining agreement, 2003-2006. The board approved the three year agreement as well as the salary schedules for certificated, certificated management, classified, classified management and confidential employees.

  • Superintendent Janet Kliegl informed the board of the school wide Average Daily Attendance (ADA). The school receives $26.37 per students per day from the state. However the district's average percent of students in attendance was approximately 97. LUSD has lost $68,463 to date due to absent students. Kliegl’s said the district could possibly hire a truant officer or retired police officer to enforce attendance.

  • A dedication for the new science buildings at Lindsay High School and Garvey will be held at 4 p.m. on Nov. 17.

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