The Minot Public School Board approved bids Friday for the first phase of construction of the new Erik Ramstad Middle School, totaling about $10 million.
The lowest bidders for various parts of the project were: concrete, $2.2 million, Maertens-Brenny Construction of Minneapolis; architectural precast, $2.3 million, MNDak/Wells Concrete Inc. of Grand Forks; structural steel, material only, $1.2 million, Bens Structural Fab Inc. of Waite Park, Minn.; structural steel installation, $518,900, Magnum Contracting of Fargo; pool work, $450,800, Associated Pool Builders Inc., of Bismarck; elevator work, $63,929, ThyssenKrupp Elevator of Fargo; earthwork and site utilities, $2.5 million, MN Utilities and Excavating of Columbus, Minn.; asphalt paving, $658,400, Minot Paving.
The district received about 26 bids in all for the work.
Bids were also received for running track surfacing, but the contractor, Kraus-Anderson, recommended against making a decision until all four bids received have been reviewed.
Federal Emergency Management Agency dollars and state funding will pay for the lion's share of the work on the new Ramstad, but the school district is responsible for about 3 percent of the total cost.
District business manager Scott Moum, presenting his $77.5 million preliminary budget for the upcoming school year, said he anticipates a $1.95 million budget deficit for 2012-2013.
Moum told the board that about 80 percent of the budget is salary and benefits for employeess. The board had negotiated a two-year contract, with increases of about 5 percent, with employees just prior to last year's flood. Moum said the district's changing financial circumstances will likely influence future contract negotiations. The district also lost some funding for Minot Air Force Base students because the base has largely completed renovation of its housing. That means the district can no longer count children of Air Force personnel who are living in Minot and attending elementary schools in Minot as military students for the purpose of getting federal impact aid.
Moum estimates the district will receive $900,000 less in tuition from the base school district for its students in the coming school year.
Moum said the district spent less last school year than it had originally planned on. Moum said some positions were left open and purchases of equipment such as computers were delayed, but that can't go on indefinitely. The district is also not doing its usual recarpeting and repainting in schools this summer in favor of concentrating on rebuilding and repairing schools that were flooded last year.
The budget is likely to be revised. The board will give it first reading at a July meeting and will likely not give it final approval until September.