HOPE – A lengthy discussion of the proposed bid contract for renovations at Hope High School to bring a planned school-based health clinic to the campus was revisited Monday night by the Hope Public School Board in a called session that resulted in the board adopting a trimmed version of the original bid.
HPSD Superintendent Dr. Bobby Hart told the board that he went back into negotiations with Morris Beck Construction Co. after the firm submitted a $473,000 bid for the remodeling work on the former family and consumer sciences “cottage” at HHS. Dr. Hart said he also received guidance from the Arkansas Department of Education about the usage of the $500,000 implementation grant it awarded the district for the project.
Hart said the original explanation from the ADE left the district with the understanding that only $150,000 of the grant could be budgeted toward renovations, while the remainder had to be directed toward establishing operations of the clinic.
But, the grant actually provided for budgeting up to $262,000 for construction costs, he said.
In the meantime, Hart said Morris Beck Construction agreed to trim some $101,000 from its bid, electing to eliminate certain exterior, structural, utility and plumbing work from the contract.
That left the board with a $372,000 bid, but still without enough grant funding to cover the project. However, Hart said the remaining funding could be provided from the balance in the district’s building fund, and from some changes in the floor plan.
“There are specifications that we have to meet,” Hart said. “The structure is in good shape for a building that is 70-plus years old; but, I want to be able to say that its functional ten to fifteen years down the road.”
He said that utilizing the district as the general contractor for the project at this point was not likely to save any more in costs than were now on the table.
“It’s going to cost us every bit of $300,000,” Hart said.
Board members expressed some concern about utilizing so much of the district’s building fund, but agreed that, allowing for the current parking lot construction at Clinton Primary School, that was the best alternative.