Lindbergh board OKs work at high school

By Mike Anthony

The Lindbergh Board of Education recently voted to award a roughly $3 million contract to Orf Construction for improvements at Lindbergh High School.

Board members voted 6-0 Feb. 10 to award the $3,057,000 contract for a cafeteria addition, new bleachers and floor replacement in Gymnasium 3 and two new science classrooms at the high school.

Board Treasurer Kara Horton was absent.

Additional projects will include completing a public restroom at the track stadium and band bleachers at the lighted stadium, along with entrance, parking and drive renovations at the Al B. Moore Leadership Center in Sunset Hills.

The work is being funded through the district’s Proposition G — for Growth — bond issue approved last April by district voters. Besides the critical needs at Lindbergh High School, the $34 million bond issue will fund a roughly $24 million elementary school on the nearly 10-acre Dressel School site at 10255 Musick Road.

Ten bids were submitted, and Orf’s bid was the lowest, according to Executive Director of Planning and Development Karl Guyer, who recommended the board award the contract to Orf. The highest bid of $3,433,000 was submitted by Wright Construction Services Inc.

District officials were pleased with the number and range of bids, according to Superintendent Jim Simpson.

Of Orf Construction’s bid, Simpson said, “That was a very good bid, and the bids were tight, too. I love tight bids. It means everybody’s looking at the same thing and coming up with the same numbers …”

In a memo to Simpson and the board, Guyer wrote that most of the projects can start as soon as possible, “with other areas scheduled to start based on coordination with high school activities and testing.”

Construction of the cafeteria addition will start immediately, with completion planned by Dec. 11. Work on the new bleachers and floor replacement in Gym 3 will start May 18 with completion scheduled July 31.

As planned, work on the new science classrooms will begin June 15 and be finished by Aug. 3.

“Other work will be completed by early August, based on completion dates established that don’t impact other activities,” Guyer wrote.

The new bleachers in Gym 3 will replace the original bleachers from 1967, according to Simpson.

“… They’re 1-by-12 pine and they are high-grade wood, not a knot or blemish in them. That’s how they used to do it back then, which you can’t duplicate that today because you can’t get that kind of quality of lumber …,” he said. “This wood has some real value. There’s a lot of it, too. That’s one of the problems. It’s a lot. You could build a house out of this, practically.”

District officials are environmentally conscious and would like to see the wood reused, but have not had any luck in finding anyone who wants to recycle the lumber — despite contacting several companies that specialize in antique wood and recycling.

“That’s a little bit bothersome to me because I hate waste,” Simpson said, noting the pine “would make great cabinetry wood. It would make great flooring. It would make great paneling.”

Of the lumber, he said, “It’s bolted to the steel bleachers. That’s how it’s on there. So whoever takes it out, they have to unbolt it. Then they can walk out with it.”

The superintendent acknowledged a great deal of work would be required to obtain the lumber, but he believes the effort would be worth it.

In other matters, the board voted:

• To award a $35,020 contract to the Echelmeier Co. to supply and deliver a replacement cooling tower for the high school’s air-conditioning plant.

The company’s bid was the lowest submitted. The new cooling tower will be installed by district personnel.

• To award a five-year contract for auditing services to Kerber, Eck & Braeckel LLP, the district’s current auditors. Five firms responded to the district’s request for proposals, or RFP. Kerber, Eck & Braeckel’s bid of $74,500 was not the lowest submitted. Bids ranged from $69,950 to $117,700.

In a memo, Director of Accounting Kathy Wood wrote, “Each firm was thoroughly examined to assure that the firm could meet all requirements of the RFP …”

A rating scale of 1 through 5 was used to evaluate the proposals, Wood wrote, adding, “The firm with the highest score is Kerber, Eck & Braeckel LLP — KEB. KEB is our current audit firm, and the district has been very pleased with the level of services and expertise provided to date.”