The Chillicothe R-2 Board of Education approved the lowest of six bids submitted to re-roof Chillicothe High School, but rejected the bids submitted for a connecting walkway between buildings at Chillicothe Middle School.

By CATHERINE STORTZ RIPLEY cripley@chillicothenews.com

The Chillicothe R-2 Board of Education approved the lowest of six bids submitted to re-roof Chillicothe High School, but rejected the bids submitted for a connecting walkway between buildings at Chillicothe Middle School. Both projects are included in a voter-approved $14.55 million bond issue that also provides for construction of an elementary building north of the high school. The board of education approved the bid submitted by Roberts Roofing Company, Inc., in the amount of $727,932. Roberts’ bid was the lowest of all bids submitted, with the highest being $933,807. All bids were below the engineer’s estimate of $995,000. Although bids came in much lower than expected for the high school roof, bids for the walkway came in significantly higher than the engineer’s estimate of $225,000. The lowest bid on this project was $336,900; however, because both bids were higher than expected, the school district is in the process of redesigning the walkway. Plans are being adjusted for a wooden post and beam structure, rather than a steel structure. The walkway will still be enclosed. Specs for the redesigned walkway are expected to be completed and out for bid within the next week or two, according to Dr. Roger Barnes, superintendent of schools. Meanwhile, district officials are continuing to look for ways to cut costs of construction of the new preschool through first grade building, which came in more than $2 million over projections. Barnes said that changes – mostly to the site – are being made that will shave off about $2 million. The school board recently selected Chillicothe Municipal Utilities to provide power rather than Farmers Electric Cooperative. As a result, CMU has agreed to relocate a high-power transmission line near the school property which will provide flexibility to the campus since buildings cannot be constructed beneath transmission lines nor can the grade of land be changed beneath transmission lines. “That frees up a lot of design for the campus,” Barnes said. By having the power lines relocated, the new school building can be shifted slightly to better accommodate roads that will be built during this phase of school expansion and can be used in the future. Another factor that could ease up funds from the bond issue is the possibility that CMU may finance the cost of sewer and water line installation for the district, similar to the process used when the high school was built. Barnes stated that through these changes, nothing has been altered from the original design of the new building.