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Bids for finishes on new Willmar school opened Tuesday

WILLMAR--Bids on the third phase of construction on Willmar's new elementary school were opened Tuesday afternoon. The Willmar School Board will meet at 7:30 a.m. Thursday to award the contracts, contingent on a full audit of the bids by the cons...

Ruben Bermubez, Triple V Concrete Construction, works on the footing and the foundation walls Tuesday at the site of the new Willmar elementary school. Duininck Inc. is the excavator for this stage in construction. Bids were opened Tuesday for the third stage of construction.Briana Sanchez / Tribune
Ruben Bermubez, Triple V Concrete Construction, works on the footing and the foundation walls Tuesday at the site of the new Willmar elementary school. Duininck Inc. is the excavator for this stage in construction. Bids were opened Tuesday for the third stage of construction. Briana Sanchez / Tribune

WILLMAR-Bids on the third phase of construction on Willmar's new elementary school were opened Tuesday afternoon.

The Willmar School Board will meet at 7:30 a.m. Thursday to award the contracts, contingent on a full audit of the bids by the construction manager hired by the board.

Stephen Plantenberg, senior project manager with R.A. Morton Construction Managers of St. Cloud, read the bid amounts for more than 30 different aspects of the project.

After the bid opening, Plantenberg said he was pleased to see good contractors submit competitive bids, especially on some of the larger parts of the project. "These are all good quality firms," he said.

Site preparation work was finished a month ago for the school location east of the Kandiyohi County Area Family YMCA, across Lakeland Drive Southeast.

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The next phase of the project, building the superstructure, is now underway. Contractors are pouring footings for the building this week.

The bids opened Tuesday deal with finishing the building. The work includes major projects like plumbing, heating and ventilation, electrical work, wall finishes and food service. It also includes a number of projects that are smaller, by comparison-things like fire suppression, flooring, windows, doors, lockers, bleachers and cabinetry.

R.A. Morton was hired to oversee a trio of major projects in the district, part of a $52.35 million building program approved by voters in May 2015.

Two science classroom additions at Willmar Middle School are expected to open for students in early 2017. The elementary school is scheduled to open in August 2017. Work on a gymnasium addition at Willmar Senior High is expected to begin this fall.

Other projects in the program include remodeling at the district's other elementary schools and many long-deferred maintenance projects throughout the district.

R.A. Morton has issued bid packages for individual portions of the building in an effort to give more local contractors a chance to bid on the building project. The effort has resulted in contractors from the area doing a majority of the work on the Middle School project.

Much of the work on the elementary school so far has gone to contractors based in the area, and a number of local contractors submitted bids for the third phase.

Plantenberg said contractors who are not based in the area may have satellite offices in the Willmar area and may employ local workers or subcontractors during the project.

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Related Topics: EDUCATION
In 42 years in the newspaper industry, Linda Vanderwerf has worked at several daily newspapers in Minnesota, including the Mesabi Daily News, now called the Mesabi Tribune in Virginia. Previously, she worked for the Las Cruces Sun-News in New Mexico and the Rapid City Journal in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She has been a reporter at the West Central Tribune for nearly 27 years.

Vanderwerf can be reached at email: lvanderwerf@wctrib.com or phone 320-214-4340
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