Alden-Conger district approves bid for new storage garage

Published 8:59 pm Thursday, June 20, 2019

ALDEN — The third priority will be the second to see progress as the Alden-Conger Public School District continues to check off facilities projects using surplus referendum funds.

Through a survey, the community prioritized projects for the school to complete with approximately $1 million. The top three identified by the survey were to renovate existing sports fields, repair and expand the elementary playground equipment and build a three-stall garage with storage.

Of that work, the elementary playground has already been completed.

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The funds were originally earmarked for school facility work in a referendum approved over three years ago. After work was complete, the district had almost $1 million left to spend. In November 2018, voters approved repurposing those funds — rather than seeing a temporary tax break — for further projects.

After hearing two bids June 10 for constructing the garage and storage building, the school board awarded the bid to Ameribuilt Buildings Inc. for $87,148. The garage will be a bit expanded from the 50-by-50-foot one discussed at a March school board meeting but is still close to the original footprint, Superintendent Brian Shanks said. According to Alden-Conger school board chairman Ryan Merkouris, the building will be a 40-by-64-foot building with a 15-by-64-foot lean-to on one side.

The other bid was submitted by Pride Builders. Their estimate for a 50-by-60-foot building was $89,400.

The building will be used for storage purposes — including storage of district vehicles, for the school’s supermileage team and general storage for athletics. There is the potential for more still, Shanks said.

“We have a lack of storage in this building, so there could be desks in there, there could be tables in there,” Shanks said.

Shanks said the hope is to have the construction complete before school begins or soon after — “certainly before snow flies.”

The new garage will be next to the current garage in an open area and north of the tennis courts behind the school.

Progress with the softball and baseball fields have stalled. No bids have come before the board for work on the baseball field, while one was submitted for the softball field.

“We’re really struggling,” Shanks said. “We’re really struggling finding somebody that will want to come down and tackle the fields.”

He had hoped to have the fields ready for play in the spring, Shanks said.

“As time goes by and we’re struggling finding a contractor, that’s becoming less and less likely that both of them will be ready,” he said.

He is hopeful to still have one ready for next spring.

The challenge in finding a contractor is both the scope of the project — they’re small, with a comparatively small dollar amount — and the busy nature of contractors.

“If they don’t have time, they’re really not interested,” Shanks said.

He said the board is still waiting for more estimates for the softball field. He hopes to have at least two.

However, other projects have moved forward more quickly. The district is in the process of replacing the middle school lockers, addressing water leakage issues on the east side of the building and dehumidifying the shop and industrial arts area.


About Sarah Kocher

Sarah covers education and arts and culture for the Tribune.

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