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Paynesville Schools to start $500K roofing project

PAYNESVILLE -- Paynesville Area Schools will replace more than 42,000 square feet of district building roofing this summer.

Superintendent Todd Burlingame said Thursday the Paynesville School Board accepted a contractor bid for the district roofing project during Tuesday's regular meeting. The project will cost the district $529,700.

Burlingame said the district received project bids from six contractors near the Paynesville area. The winning bidder, McDowall Co. of St. Cloud, outbid the second-lowest bidding contractor by about $45,000, Burlingame said. The district will pay for the project through a five-year lease which will be paid by the district's capital fund, Burlingame said.

Many in the Paynesville community may not think this year is the best time for the district to complete the project, Burlingame said. However, based on the wide price range of the project bids, he said, the district could save a lot of money completing the work now compared to next year or after.

Prior to the bidding process, Burlingame said, the district consulted with another contractor about a price estimate for the work. He said the contractor anticipated a $600,000 to $625,000 price tag for the project.

"It seems like a lot of money, but when you've got wet buildings, that's not a good thing," Burlingame said.

In past years, Burlingame said, the district has set aside about $100,000 every two years in preparation of sectional roof repairs to district buildings. With the condition of the construction industry, Burlingame said, this summer seemed like the best time to get a good price for the inevitable project.

"If we do a big chunk now, we're going to save some money because we're going to get good bids," Burlingame said.

"So we felt it was in our best interest to go ahead and get a bunch of roofs done and save some money."

The district will replace 42,958 square feet in district roofing, Burlingame indicated in an e-mail. Of the grand total, the district will replace a 12,473-square-foot section at the elementary school and five sections measuring about 30,455 square feet at the junior high/high school.

Burlingame said the district expects construction to start this summer, but the opening work date is May 1. He said the district will allow construction to continue until Oct. 15.

In a previous roof repair project, Burlingame said, the district saved about $40,000 by allowing construction to continue during the early part of a school year. He said the district probably saved a similar amount of money by granting McDowall Co. with a longer work timeline.

The extra equipment around the school buildings in the fall may be an inconvenience to the district, Burlingame said, but the actual work taking place shouldn't be a distraction to staff or students.

"It's well worth the little bit of inconvenience to save some money." Burlingame said.

Burlingame said the project will include a rubber style of roofing so there shouldn't be large amounts of noise coming from above the classrooms. He said the soon-to-be installed roofing will have a life expectancy of about 20 to 30 years.