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Bid package comes in $526,361 over budget

Project Manager Joe Cecko of R.A. Morton Construction Management in St. Cloud presented a preliminary look at Bid Package No. 2 to the Verndale school board Monday evening - a recap as unsettling to the board as the nasty winter weather outside.

The bid package is for interior work, equipment and furnishings in the school's new addition. The exterior work for the new school addition is presently under way. R.A. Morton's figures disclosed the total project cost is presently $6,114,754. With $5,588,393 available for the project, the board learned Bid Package No. 2 puts the total cost of the work over budget by $526,361.

Cecko pointed out to the board he was not prepared to support the bid package.

"We'll have half the bidders re-bid," Cecko said. "We do have time."

The addition project is scheduled for completion in time for the start of the 2014-2015 school year. While R.A. Morton is in charge of the project,Verndale Superintendent Paul Brownlow said the board is the ultimate arbitrator in the decision to approve a bid package.

"We've definitely have a lot of work ahead of us," Brownlow said. "Our whole interest is to keep the integrity of the task force piece in place."

Two of the bids that Brownlow said were chiefly responsible for bumping up the estimate were the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC), which came in at $1,012,000, and the bid for electrical work, which came in at $534,500.