WIUM Tristates Public Radio

School District Moving Ahead with Renovation Project

May 31, 2019

The Macomb School District has decided against making changes to one of its construction projects.  The district considered reducing the scope of its plans because bids came in higher than expected.

The district estimated that renovations at Edison Elementary would cost around $4 million, including architect fees. But the low bid came in at $4.4 million. That does not include architect fees, which increase the total price tag to around $4.7 million.

Superintendent Patrick Twomey said the school board’s finance committee discussed whether to scale back the project before choosing to stick with the original plan.

“We created this plan because it was best for the students and the kids. And although it’s more expensive than what we anticipated, they voted to move forward with that project with the lowest bidder,” Twomey said.

Twomey said the district will reallocate some of its share of the money generated by the county’s one-cent sales tax for school construction projects.

“We already sold bonds, and part of that bond was for the future (future renovations at the high school),” Twomey said. “So the finance committee made a conscious choice to have the known projects done the way we want them and then look at the scope of what we have available in our bonding capacity at that time and make a decision about the high school.”

Edison will get six new classrooms that can withstand most tornadoes. The school will also get a new cafeteria and kitchen. The current cafeteria will be converted to a reading center.

Twomey said the renovations could begin this summer or fall and be completed by the end of 2020.