School Board Approves Pinecrest and Whitehills Contracts, Honors Mathletes

Tuesday, February 26, 2019, 2:34 pm
By: 
Karessa Wheeler

Above: Trustees Kath Edsall (left) and Nichole Martin at last night’s meeting.

East Lansing Public Schools’ Board of Education approved nearly $24 million in construction bids for the upcoming Pinecrest and Whitehills elementary school building projects last night.

The bids include $5,630,000 to Myers Plumbing & Heating of Lansing, $4,116,000 (in total for two categories) for Davenport Masonry of Holt, and $2,379,000 to Centennial Electric of Potterville for work on the new schools.

Work will begin the summer of 2019 and are expected to be complete by Fall 2020.

The Board unanimously approved the full list of bids, which can be viewed here.

Before voting, the Board went into closed session at the request of Trustee Kath Edsall who expressed concerns on the effect of the repeal of prevailing wage law. In June 2018, Michigan’s legislature repealed the law that required union scale wages on public construction projects.

“I want to be sure that we are not complicit in any way in an abuse of labor,” Edsall said while the Board was in open session. “We just have to double check to cover ourselves.”

Upon reopening the meeting, Edsall asked Gary Steller, Director from Clark Construction, to discuss the bids for three services where the lowest bid was significantly lower than the next lowest bid.

Steller told the Board that they did a thorough review of the contractors, reviewing their references and talking about the successes they have had in the past. He explained that there are many reasons contractors may put in low bids, including having openings in their work schedules that they want to fill. He suggested it did not signal a problem with the contractors.

“We’ve looked in depth into their financials and safety records,” Steller said.

In addition to the Pinecrest and Whitehills projects, the Board approved a bid for the High School Irrigation Pump Improvement Project to John E. Green Company in the amount of $28,200.

The Board also honored Peter Ahlin and Merlin Fang (above), members of the MacDonald Middle School Mathletes, for their first place at the regional Mathcounts competition. They earned the only perfect score on the team round along with Johnny Bonnell and Skyler Hamlin.

 

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