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Alexandria School Board awards facility improvements contract to Innovative Builders

Monday, April 19, 2021
ALEXANDRIA, Minn. -- At the regular meeting held April 19, the Alexandria School Board voted to award the contract for facility improvements at Discovery Middle School and the Early Education Center to the lowest bidder, Innovative Builders, a general contractor based in Alexandria.

The Board has made a long-term goal to reduce reliance on leased space and move toward owning the facilities for all our programs. Since January, the district has been working with JLG Architects through the Schematic Design Phase on both additions while engaging in a community input process involving district advisory councils, community members, coaches, and youth/adult recreation user groups. As community members and stakeholders, the district wants to make sure that constituents are informed of the decisions and projects being conducted as future investments of the school district.

  • A new addition at Discovery Middle School that includes a two-station gym to support educational, athletic and community needs as well as a dedicated Gymnastics Center with tumble room, and flexible meeting spaces; and
  • A new addition at the Early Education Center which includes a two-classroom addition for early childhood programming, flexible spaces for education, party rooms, and a large open space designed for the current Shenanigans indoor playground.

Bids were opened and read aloud at the District Office on April 13. In accordance with state law, the district awarded the contract to the lowest qualified bidder.

Seven contractors presented a complete bid, with Innovative Builders submitting the lowest bid. With selected alternates, the total amount awarded is $8,299,900.00.

“We are very pleased with these bid results, as they are lower than the cost estimates by $800,000, and will allow us to utilize those funds in our contingency as we move through the construction phase over the next several months,” stated Trevor Peterson, Director of Business Services.

The board has established an overall project budget of $11 million for the improvements which will cover the construction of the additions, design costs, furniture/fixtures/equipment, technology, and contingency funds. Financing for the projects will be through Certificates of Participation (COPs), a funding mechanism that allows school districts to utilize lease levy authority for the addition to existing district buildings to expand educational programming. Additions must be attached to existing buildings and may not exceed 20% of the total square footage of the existing structure. COPs would be funded exactly like a bond and paid off in 15 years, starting in Payable 2022. The estimated tax impact on the average homeowner ($200,000 value home) would be $3 per month or $36 per year.

To view architect exterior designs, site and floor plans, and 3D images for the projects, visit the district website at www.alexschools.org/facilities and click on Facilities Project Planning in the left navigation.

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If you have any additional questions, please contact Trevor Peterson, (320) 762-2141 ext. 4206, tpeterson@alexschools.org.