Architect Gary Anderson and Dennis Hanke of USDA spoke at the bid award for Spring Ahead Learning Center.

It has taken four years since the introductory meeting, but Lime Springs can finally say “Whew!” Spring Ahead Learning Center is no longer a vision but a reality.
President of Howard-Winneshiek School Board Karlos McClure opened the meeting on Feb. 21, “This is the meeting we’ve been anxiously waiting for.” Olympic Builders of Holmen, Wis. was approved as general contractor, coming in $27,333 under the anticipated cost of construction, with a base bid of $997,667.

The board is probably going to also accept Alternate M-1, which would put in-floor radiant heat in the infant and 18-36-month old rooms. That cost with Olympic Builders adds $29,200 to the total construction cost, putting it almost on the money of the anticipated cost of $1,025,000.

Doug Berg, board member, asked architect Gary Anderson of Skott and Anderson if that cost could be negotiated as the other bids for radiant in-floor heat were about half the price.

Another alternate (for snap lock seam metal roof panel in lieu of a standing seam) was dismissed as not worth the small savings.

Anderson gave some good and bad reviews of Olympic Builders saying most of the bad reviews were because of the supervisor on the job. After learning of problems, the company did get rid of the supervisors.

To set the board’s minds at ease, Dennis Hanke of USDA suggested, “You can request the owner to be at the monthly payouts.”

Hanke said the board had to be sure that no more than 75 percent of the project is funded by federal money. With the $250,000 already promised by H-W and $100,000 raised in Lime Springs, that number should not be a problem.

The bid was awarded with USDA final approval. Construction is tentatively set to be completed by mid-December 2012.

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