Work continues on Prop S projects in Mehlville

Bids set for early spring


By Erin Achenbach, News Editor

The Mehlville School District Board of Education will soon be voting on multiple bid packages for projects funded by Proposition S, the $35 million no-tax-rate increase bond measure being used to fund facility and security enhancements across the district. 

“We’re going to be bidding a lot of projects over the next few months. … Probably a lot February to May, really getting to work and people will slowly start to see some things that are a little bit more visible,” Superintendent Chris Gaines said during a Prop S update at the Dec. 16 Board of Education meeting. 

More than 80 percent of voters approved Prop S, for “Safe Schools, Safe Kids,” in April. The money is being used to fund the installation of secure entry vestibules at all of the district’s 18 schools, as well as to address facility needs identified by Mehlville’s Facilities Steering Committee during an 18-month review of all of the district’s buildings. 

Over the summer and fall, HVAC units were replaced at Forder Elementary and work was completed on Oakville High School’s baseball and softball fields. 

The district recently got the necessary approvals and permits back from St. Louis County to begin work at Blades Elementary. Gaines said that construction documents were currently in the preparation stages for the work at Blades, which includes redoing the front entrance of the building. The district is tentatively planning to go out to bid for Blades in the spring. 

There have been continued concerns around getting the necessary approval to begin work on expanding Oakville Elementary’s parking lot. Because of the nature of the project, that work must be completed during the summer when school is not in session. The district was on track to bid that project in January until delays with the permit process, although Gaines said it may still go out to bid by the end of January or early February but the timeline remains up in the air. 

“Our OES parking lot permit struggles, challenges continue. However we are moving forward and preparing to put that out to bid in hopes that all of the things are in the right places and that we can do that work this summer,” Gaines said. “If we don’t have everything knocked out then we will just delay that one. That is a project that has to be done in the summer.” 

Preparation on construction documents for Bierbaum have also started. Bierbaum is one of the more extensive Prop S projects and was originally estimated to cost just under $6 million. Revised estimates and amended plans came back between $9.5 million and $10.3 million. 

“That’s what happening with Prop S, really moving from planning design on this first group of stuff into construction documents and bids, and then we’ll be starting in on the planning and design on the next set of bid packages that will be coming,” Gaines said. 

As of December, the district has paid about $2.319 million in Prop S expenditures and has a little over $35.074 million remaining.