Rachel Hill school

The former Rachel Hill school is shown in a 2019 file photograph.

Following a presentation by Bob Englebaugh, of HHSDR Architects and Engineers, who has been handling the Rachel Hill project, the Richland school board awarded the demolition contract of the property to Ligonier Construction Co. during Monday's meeting.

The base bid was $1,191,075, and with the four alternate additions included, the total comes in to $1,826,292, which is still hundreds of thousands of dollars lower than what the district estimated, school officials explained.

"These are really, really good numbers," board member Julian Beglin said.

The alternative additions include work on a parking lot, waterline, hydrant, tennis court, sidewalks and a drain system.

Within the motion, the board accepted all of the alternatives.

Superintendent Arnold Nadonley spoke about how good the timing was, not only for the work on the former elementary school property, but also for the bank loan the district agreed to at April's meeting.

"With the interest of the loan structure that we did, that's another $649,000 we're saving," Nadonley said.

Shortly after, Solicitor Timothy Leventry called the board's attention to the quoted amount for the parking lot and sidewalk work at the cost of $120,172.

He said compared to the other bids for that same work, it was "substantially" lower.

"When you look at the bids and see a number like that, you think somebody missed something," Leventry said.

The numbers were confirmed by the company and Leventry said it was for reasons such as this that Ligonier won the contract.

Work on the Rachel Hill property is set to begin in June. Englebaugh explained that following demolition there will be connection of the roadway in the area, construction of the parking area, then the tennis courts.

The project should be completed by May 30, 2021.

Nadonley said the tennis courts completion date had been pushed back somewhat due to concerns of subcontractors, who were worried about the timeframe in relation to the weather.

The initial completion date was April 30, 2021, to make sure the asphalt plants were operational, Englebaugh said.

Board President W. Ray McCombie asked if that was enough time in the case of an "unusual winter."

"It should be," Englebaugh said. "All the plants are opening right now. But we can always make a no-cost type adjustment if we had to push it out another month or something."

The group also awarded the electrical bid for the project to Hallstrom-Clark Electric Inc. at the base bid of $99,600 and approved the two alternate additions for a final amount of $198,400.

Other action taken by the board included passing the 2020-21 tentative operating budget.

The estimated expenditures are $24,423,269 and the estimated revenue is $23,122,595 with no millage increase.

Joshua Byers is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @Journo_Josh.

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