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Admin project could top $1 million

Cuts could lower cost of bank building renovation to $890K

Construction of new administration offices could cost $896,000 to a little more than $1 million, Altoona Area School Board members learned this week.

The low combined base bid came in at a little more than $1 million. The cost could be lowered to $896,000 if the board chooses a scaled-back version.

The school board reviewed the bids during its committee of the whole meeting.

School Board President Dutch Brennan suggested the bids be placed for a vote on the school board’s Nov. 12 meeting because after 30 days from the bid opening, which was last Thursday, contractors don’t have to guarantee their bid anymore.

Board member Sharon Bream stated her wish that the vote be delayed until December when new school board members replace some current incumbents — including Brennan — after the November election.

Bream said the new board might have different ideas for the administration building. She stressed the board has to find ways to cut the budget so that it avoids projected financial deficits.

Brennan pointed out, as he has previously, that Bream’s rhetoric about cutting the budget has been criticized by board members as high-sounding but with no action behind it.

Brennan pointed out, as he has previously, that Bream’s rhetoric about cutting the budget has been criticized by board members as high-sounding but with no action behind it.

Bream has been on the board for two four-year terms.

“Past President John Donley, and more recently Wayne Hippo, called you out to be specific with what your ideas are and you have not shown it,” Brennan told Bream.

Bream responded only by telling Brennan to read the paper and come to the meetings to see how the new board works after December.

The outgoing board members are Brennan, Hippo and Bill Ceglar.

Bream and Ron Johnston won nominations in last spring’s primary and are two of six candidates vying for five seats on the November ballot.

In attendance at the meeting on Monday was board candidate Mike Baker.

There are four areas of construction for which administration building bids were received.

In the area of general construction, the district received eight bids with the lowest bid submitted by C.E. Wood for $585,000. HVAC construction attracted seven bidders with Marc Service the lowest at $131,800.

Plumbing construction attracted four bidders with Riley Inc. submitting the lowest at $21,345.

In electrical construction, Stelco submitted the lowest of four bidders at $289,720.

The work is to be done at the former Investment Savings Bank building at 1201 Eighth Ave.

The district purchased that building for $710,000.

A board majority determined it was cheaper to buy and renovate the bank building than to include the administration office in the new high school building.

Mirror Staff Writer Russ O’Reilly is at 946-7435.

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