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West renovation could start next month
West Elementary.jpg
A renovation project at West Elementary could start as early as April 1 if the full Warren County Commission gives its approval.

West Elementary’s renovation project is estimated to begin April 1, provided the full Warren County Commission gives its approval on the $4.3 million expense this coming Monday, March 18.

A tentative date of April 1 was given when county officials met to consider a recommendation by the Warren County Board of Education to accept the bid from Merit Construction.

“It was either going to be Merit Construction or Sain Construction Company,” said Director of Schools Bobby Cox. “The board voted to include alternates one and two, which brought Merit’s overall bid below Sain’s.”

The bids were close. 

Merit’s base bid of $3.77 million was $8,650 above Sain’s offer of $3.76 million. However, when the two alternates were added, Merit’s bid fell $53,150 under Sain’s and upped the overall cost to $4.38 million. 

Warren County government provided $6 million for both Bobby Ray and West renovation projects. Bobby Ray’s bid came in at $2.89 million and left approximately $3.1 for West. 

Cox outlined the School Board’s plan for paying the extra $1.2 million. 

Alternate one, converting the current library into classroom space and air conditioning in the basement of the school where the pre-school is located, will be paid from the school’s maintenance budget. It is estimated at $82,700.

Kitchen equipment and cafeteria furniture will be paid from the school’s nutrition budget.

“Within the bid, there was about $300,000 in kitchen equipment and furniture,” said Cox. “We are going to take that out of our school nutrition budget. We are going to handle that cost, so that put about $300,000 more back into the project. 

Alternate two is an elevator, and lobby renovations to the front lobby at a cost of $523,800.

“It will change the front of the building so we can make sure we are ADA compliant,” said Cox. 

An additional $1 million will be taken from capital projects and the school system’s reserves.

“If we can do it out of two budget years, then we should be able to handle it,” said Cox. “That will be about $500,000 a year.”

The county’s Education Committee and its Financial Management Committee approved the recommendation by the Board of Education. Approval by the full Warren County Commission is required.