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Julie McDonald’s fifth grade class files down a hallway Wednesday at John F. Kennedy Grade School in Spring Valley. Bids were open Wednesday for the new JFK addition. The current building will house pre-kindergarten through 4th grade, and the new addition will be home to fifth through eighth grades.
The bids are in for the estimated $14.5 million new construction project for Spring Valley Elementary, but they are a little higher than expected. About 30 contractors gathered inside the John F. Kennedy school gym Wednesday to hear the bid readings. They grabbed a bid sheet and listened as William VanDusen, architect from Allied Design Consultants Inc. in Springfield, as he opened the sealed envelopes and announced the bids to the room. The contractors filled out their bid sheets to see how each stood up to the rest. VanDusen was accompanied by superintendent Jim Hermes and other members of the design team. They read bids from each of the six prime contractor, including the general, plumbing, fire protection, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, temperature control and electrical. VanDusen started by reading bids for the general contractor which they were hoping would come in around $10,273,260. They received nine bids from contractors. The two lowest bidders were Williams Brothers Construction Inc., Peoria Heights with $10,050,000 and R.L. Sohol Construction Co., Plainfield with $10,055,300. The highest bid was D.J. Sickley Construction Co. Inc., Peru with a bid of $11,752,453. Each of the nine general contractors submitted five alterative bids which could be added to the project based on price. The board of education can accept or reject any or all of the alterative bids and are in no particular order. Alterative bid one is for additional shelving in classrooms. The lowest bid was again Williams Brothers with $38,000 and the highest was Lite Construction Inc., Montgomery with $59,000. Alterative bid two is for adding a raised ceiling over the large locker corridor area. The lowest bid of $205,000 was from Williams Brothers and the highest was D.J. Sickley with $425,986. Alterative bid three is for adding a north parking lot. The lowest bid was Williams Brothers with $126,000 and the highest was Lite with $260,000. Alterative bid four is for constructing a drive on the east side of the building. Vissering Construction Co., Streator submitted the lowest bid of $55,000 and Lite again had the highest with $177,000. Alterative bid five is for improvements to the stage area with theatrical lighting and a sound curtain. The lowest bid was R.L. Sohol with $26,000 and the highest was Peoria Metro Construction, Peoria with $39,500. The design team estimated a bid of $696,540 from plumbing. Six bids were submitted with the lowest bid coming from JB Contracting Corp., La Salle of $697,000 Fire protection was expected to reach a bid around $200,000. The lowest bid from the eight submitted came in at $145,400 from Absolute Fire Protection, Rockford. VanDusen said HVAC bids should be around $1,750,600. However, none of the seven bids submitted hit that goal. Commercial Mechanical Inc., Dunlap was the lowest bidder at $1,962,000. Temperature control was projected to come in at $242,000, but the five bids received also went above the projected bid of the design team. The bid of $269,626 was the lowest bid submitted by Johnson Controls, Inc., East Peoria. The team planned for an electrical bid of $1,237,000. Again, the bids came in much higher than hoped from the four bids collected. JB Contracting again had the lowest bid of $1,939,301. The total construction from all low bidders would come to over $15 million without alternate bids added. “Thank you for the bids and the time you put into them,” said VanDusen after all the bids were read. VanDusen said the next step was to go over all the paper work from submitted bids to see if the lower bidders followed all the guidelines from the Capital Development Board’s grant which is a requirement of the project. During his bid announcements, VanDusen noted several contractors did not have forms filled out properly. The design team would then prepare bid sheets for the board of education meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 27. VanDusen said they would also have to look at the alternate bids to see if any of them were possible and based on these bids the board might go with a different bidder than the lowest bid submitted. Hermes was hopeful the board could award bids at next Wednesday’s meeting.