Cleveland school projects' costs reviewed

Cleveland school projects' costs reviewed

May 16th, 2012 by Randall Higgins in News

Dr. Martin Ringstaff, director of Cleveland City Schools.

Photo by Randall Higgins/Times Free Press.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - Construction cost for a renovated Betsy Vines Theater at Cleveland High School and a new traffic configuration for the front of Cleveland Middle School were reviewed Tuesday by the Cleveland Board of Education.

Brian Templeton of Upland Design Group showed the board four base bids plus alternates for the theater. The initial low bidder, Stethen-Smith Construction of Knoxville, acknowledged a $65,000 mistake in its base bid of $345,522. For all the bidders, five add-on alternates varied widely.

"What we are experiencing in your area is that folks are busy," Templeton said. "When folks are busy, prices go up."

The board agreed to give Templeton a week to negotiate with the next-lowest bidder, Construction Consultants of Chattanooga.

The negotiation results could be ready for a vote when the board meets again in one week, May 22 at 2 p.m.

"We have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by waiting a week," said board member Peggy Pesterfield.

The May 22 meeting already was needed to decide among the Tennessee Department of Transportation's options for a new configuration to the entrance at Cleveland Middle School from Georgetown Road.

"They need to get feedback from the board before they proceed down the road to others," said Dr. Martin Ringstaff, city schools director.

Any of the options would work for the school, Ringstaff said, but city traffic experts like one that adds turn lanes, providing more space to stack traffic during rush hours.

Ringstaff said he understood the state, and not the school system, will be paying for the changes.