A new kitchen and cafeteria for W.R. McNeill Elementary School will be re-bid, Bowling Green Independent School District Superintendent Joe Tinius said Monday.
The project to add the new spaces at McNeill was bid in May 2013, but officials at that time decided not to move forward because the bids exceeded the budget. During Monday’s board of education meeting, Tinius said the estimated funds for the project are now $2.5 million rather than the original $2.08 million because about $700,000 in bonds will be covered by the state of Kentucky, lessening the overall cost to the district.
The plan is for an April 3 bid opening for the planned 2,200-square-foot kitchen and 3,300-square-foot cafeteria, with the Board of Education awarding bids April 14. McNeill is the only elementary school in the district that uses its gym as a cafeteria. The proposed addition will take up some outdoor playground space and will be joined to the main building through a connecting corridor.
Eight companies originally bid on the project in 2013, including Alliance Corp., which is overseeing construction of the new Dishman-McGinnis Elementary School off Durbin Drive. Those base bids in 2013 ranged from $2.09 million to $2.4 million, when the budget for the project was $2.08 million.
Tinius said construction could start after the bids are approved and the work could take six to seven months.
“We could make the move into the new cafeteria-kitchen over Christmas break,” he said.
The revised paperwork will now need to be approved by the Kentucky Department of Education.
In another matter, Tim Geegan of Alliance gave the school board an update on the Dishman-McGinnis project. Weather, particularly cold temperatures, has slowed the pace of the project. The structure is under roof except for the media center area. Drywall work, which is needed before ductwork installation and painting, is in progress. When it gets warmer, the work will be able to proceed at a faster pace, Geegan said. He said $222,000 in change orders have been approved for the $14.3 million, 64,000-square-foot, two-story new elementary school. Tinius said unplanned changes have cost about $50,000.
The school board also approved an application to obtain a Confucius Institute classroom in the old Dishman-McGinnis Elementary School on Old Morgantown Road. The district is seeking $10,000 for a classroom that will focus on Chinese music and art.
If approved, the Confucius classroom would join one at the Housing Authority of Bowling Green that specializes in Kung Fu, one in Barren County that teaches the Chinese tea ceremony and a third Confucius classroom in Simpson County that teaches calligraphy.
“This is a good opportunity for the district,” Associate Superintendent Vicki Wristel said.
Betty Yu of the Confucius Institute at Western Kentucky University said the district might receive word on a final decision by July or August, thus setting up a grand opening at the old elementary school about Sept. 28.