HVAC bids: With contingency, project at $173K over $3.35M bond
by Gregory R. Norfleet · News · February 11, 2009

West Branch’s Board of Education on Monday approved $3.52 million for HVAC and facilities improvement projects, some $173,700 more than the $3.35 million in bonds approved by voters in April.

The additional costs included $42,000 for two “alternate bids” that would give the school Web access to the high school and middle school building’s climate-control systems, an increase in the contingency fund for change orders or unforeseen expenses and an increase in professional fees based on a percentage of the project’s cost.

Business Manager Angie Walter said the money raised though bonding has grown by about $9,000 a month due to interest since last July and the school will tap its Physical Plant and Equipment Levy to cover any possible shortfall. She said the district hopes to use little of the $168,000 contingency fund.

The school board awarded the bulk of the project — the heating, ventilation and air conditioning — to Ryan & Assoc. Inc. of Davenport with its low bid of $2.63 million. Its HVAC bid came in at about $123,000 under architect Shive Hattery’s estimate of $2.75 million.

Two other bids included one for $2.68 million, about $71,000 under the estimate, and one for $2.86 million, about $107,000 over the estimate.

Ryan & Assoc. also won $301,700 in alternate projects, like replacing doors, middle school air conditioning, and the building controls.

“We saw good pricing” in these bids, Shive-Hattery’s Erick Hendrickson told the board.

At Shive-Hattery’s recommendation, the board did not accept bids for two alternate projects for drainage improvements and other HVAC controls. All the bids which came in were higher than estimates; Hendrickson suggested trying to find different ways to address those needs.

Hendrickson said that Shive-Hattery has worked with Ryan & Assoc. before.

“We’ve had a good, positive experience with them in the past,” he said. “We’ve had no issues.”

The board also awarded a related asbestos project to Abatement Specialists LLC of Cedar Rapids with a low bid of $10,160. The project was estimated at $18,000.

Board member Richard Paulus said he was “glad the bids came in as low as they did.”

“I hope I live long enough to come in to a nice, climate-controlled building,” the retired minister joked.

The project is expected to begin in March with some behind-the-scenes work before construction crews ramp up, with the bulk of the work set for summer.

Superintendent Craig Artist said the teachers have been “very good about getting ready” for the construction crews.

“They have been very flexible with us,” he said.

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