Kendall will open bids for $25M school project on Wednesday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 September 2014 at 12:00 am

File photos by Tom Rivers – The Kendall Junior-Senior High School is eyed for most of the estimated $25 million in a capital project that should start next month.

KENDALL – The school district will open construction bids on Wednesday for a project that will bring the school campus into the 21st Century.

Kendall residents approved the $25 million capitol project in May 2013. The district has been working with the State Education Department since then on the final designs for the work.

The district will open the bids at 2 p.m. on Wednesday with the Board of Education expected to approve seven different contracts at its 7 p.m. meeting on Sept. 24.

The work could start in October in the back cafeteria of the junior-senior high school, as well as some of the underground infrastructure work at the elementary school.

Crews will continue to work in wings of the junior-senior high school during the winter and spring, with contractors busy next summer so the buildings are ready for the new 2015-16 school year next September.

The $25 million capitol project will be 90 percent funded with state aid. Kendall’s local share already is saved in a capital reserve account.

The project includes new roofs for both school buildings, as well as energy efficient improvements, heating and ventilation work, and updated security measures. Both sites will also see improvements to parking lots and sidewalks.

The junior-senior high school was built in 1971 in an “open classroom” model that didn’t include contained classrooms. The school includes partitions to try to reduce noise and hallway distractions. A capital project would give all the classrooms four walls and their own doors.

The project makes improvements at the two school buildings, including a reconfiguration of the classroom wings so each room has four walls and a door. That will go a long way to improving the learning atmosphere and security for teachers and students, said Julie Christensen, the district superintendent.

Another classroom disrupter, the cafeteria, will be relocated to a wing of the building occupied by the current weight room and another classroom. Right now, the cafeteria is in the middle of the building.