Libby Montana News Archive

LibbyMt.com > News > June 2011 > School consolidation begins

School Consolidation. Photo by Kootenai Valley Record.
School Consolidation
Elementary teacher Lynette Petrau duct tapes her desk in preparation for the move out of Asa Wood. Photo by Kootenai Valley Record.
School consolidation begins
by Brent Shrum, Kootenai Valley Record
June 10, 2011

Classes may be out for summer, but Libby schools will be seeing a lot of activity over the next two months as construction begins on upgrades to facilitate the closure of Asa Wood School and the consolidation of kindergarten through sixth grade at the current middle school building and grades seven through 12 at the high school.

District officials opened bids for the project last Wednesday, with the contracts for the work at both buildings going to Meredith Construction of Kalispell. The firm bid $251,000 for the middle school project and $245,500 for the high school work.

Three other firms bid on the middle school job. Sletten Construction of Great Falls bid $270,000, Martel Construction of Bigfork bid $308,800, and Kevin Miller Construction of Libby bid $314,287. For the work at the high school, Sletten bid $252,000, and Martel bid $290,600. Kevin Miller Construction did not submit a bid for the high school project.

The bids came in somewhat lower than had been projected, said district superintendent Kirby Maki, "which is a good thing because it allows us to do a few other things."

The total project, including architect’s and engineer’s fees and hazardous materials assessments, is budgeted at $800,000 to $1 million, Maki said.

"Before it’s all said and done, that’s probably what we’re going to expend," he said.

At the middle school, the green pod – designed as a vocational wing and currently used for art and technology classes – will be remodeled into four classrooms. The youngest students will be housed in the brown pod because of its proximity to the office, making it easier to supervise, Maki said. Some bathrooms at the school will be remodeled for use by smaller children.

At the high school, the library area will be remodeled with a new commons for junior high school students. The new commons will be used for lunch and other activities. Seventh- and eighth-grade classes will be located near the library and the new commons.

Additional work will be conducted outside both schools to improve pick-up and drop-off areas.

A pre-construction meeting with contractors is scheduled for this week. Under the terms of the contract, all work is to be completed by Aug. 12 with a penalty of $1,000 per day if the deadline is not met.

In February, voters rejected a $12 million bond issue that would have funded more extensive additions and upgrades at both schools, including a new commons and district kitchen at the middle school and an auxiliary gym at the high school. With a turnout of 56 percent in the mail ballot election, the bond issue was rejected by a margin of 1,844 votes to 1,158, or 61 to 39 percent.

Editor's Note: See the April 26, 2011 edition of the Kootenai Valley Record for the printed version of this story. The Kootenai Valley Record publishes once a week, on Tuesdays, in Libby, Montana. They are a locally owned community newspaper, located at 403 Mineral Avenue in Libby. For in-county and out-of-county subscription information, call 406-293-2424, or e-mail kvrecord@gmail.com.

LibbyMt.com > News > June 2011 > School consolidation begins
All page content copyright 2011. All rights reserved. May not be used without permission.

home page
PO Box 940, Libby, MT 59923
e-mail: info@libbymt.com