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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Contract to place portables at CV schools awarded to sole bidder

The Central Valley School District Board of Directors awarded the bid Monday night to place portable classrooms at three of the district’s buildings to a Davenport, Wash., construction company, despite a price that was thousands more than budgeted.

Halme Construction was awarded the contract for $285,000 to place one portable with two classrooms each at Greenacres and Liberty Lake elementary schools, and at University High School to ease overcrowding.

The board also awarded a bid for the addition of two permanent classrooms to Broadway Elementary School this summer to Associated Construction Inc. of Spokane for $380,000. The estimate for that project was about $446,000.

The district already owns the portable classrooms, which were expected to cost around $30,000 each to relocate, for a total of about $90,000.

That included costs associated with moving the buildings, setting them up with electricity and concrete foundations at the new locations, and fixing up the school sites where the buildings previously sat.

District officials said eight bidders expressed interest in the project, but they received only the one bid from Halme for $285,000.

“I don’t see where we have any options,” said board member Cindy McMullen. “We made a commitment to the community as to how we would address this issue. We truly have no option.”

Three schools, including Broadway, were identified by district staff as those with immediate growth needs beyond a long-term facilities plan being considered by the district.

The board voted Monday to move a $55.2 million bond election from November to March to address growth needs by remodeling and expanding three schools and building two new ones.

Until the schools can be built, the board voted in April to place portables at the two elementary schools and the high school instead of busing students out of their neighborhoods.

The district needs to have the portables in place by the start of the school year, especially in Liberty Lake. The school is expected to have more than 800 students this fall, 150 more than capacity.

If they rebid the project, it would not be completed in time, said Dave Jackman, director of auxiliary services for the district.

“We have a very limited window to get this done,” Jackman said.

Jackman said concrete prices may have inflated the cost of moving the portables, as well as complex electrical systems at University High School, which was built in 2002. To connect the portable to electricity at U-Hi will cost $64,000, more than twice the estimate of the entire project.

The projects will be paid for out of the district capital fund, not the general fund.

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