Janesville46.4°

Parkview plan could top $6.7 million

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GINA R. HEINE
January 12, 2012
— The amount of money sought in Parkview’s April referendum could range between $5 million and $6.7 million, based on three bids presented at a special school board meeting Wednesday night.

Representatives from J.P. Cullen & Sons, Ringland-Johnson and Gilbank Construction gave presentations to the board, which delayed a vote on choosing a contractor until Monday’s regular board meeting.


The process has moved quickly since the board voted in late November to close Footville and Newark elementary schools and seek a referendum for an addition at Orfordville. The district must get the referendum wording to the county by Friday, Jan. 20.


The plan is to add 14 classrooms and a three-station gym with locker rooms. If the referendum fails, the board plans to use portable classrooms and move the sixth grade to the junior high.


The firms presented the following bid:


-- J.P. Cullen & Sons of Janesville: $6,736,477 for 38,226 square feet.


-- Ringland-Johnson of Cherry Valley, Ill.: $5,515,534 for 39,006 square feet.


-- Gilbank Construction of Clinton: $4,987,000 for 35,286 square feet. This bid did not include a 5-percent contingency, while the other two did.


While board members did not vote, they generally agreed to rule out Ringland-Johnson because it was not a local firm and it did not offer as many pre-referendum services as the other two.


The board requested the tax impact of the remaining bids before Monday’s meeting.


Discussion turned to what was really needed—do the locker rooms need showers? Can a couple classrooms be cut? Is a stage in the gym needed?


Board President Troy Knudson wondered how much could be saved by having a regular elementary gym instead of a three-station gym, which would be used for high school sports.


The difference could be about $1 million, officials said.


That dollar figure is going to be “pretty important,” Knudson said.


If the district is doing a building project now, voters won’t spring for a new gym in a few years, so it should be included now, board member Terry Gerber said.


Lutzke also voiced concerns about needing additional gym space for the community after the loss of the Footville and Newark gyms.


One resident cautioned the board not to move too quickly, while another resident said some people do not support the way the board is going about consolidation.


“That’s what I think this referendum is going to come down to,” she said. “That’s what I’m hearing.”


Board member Clay Hammes said he’s hearing people excited about a centralized campus, but that the way to get there can be done in a “much wiser way.”


He was alluding to the plan he supported to close Newark and bring those students to Orfordville while waiting until enrollment dropped enough to close Footville without needing construction.


The board also approved working with the Quarles & Brady law firm to assist with the referendum.


APRIL ELECTION

The school board’s plan to add on to Orfordville Elementary prompted an organized effort of three Footville-area residents to challenge the three incumbents from Newark in the April election.


The candidates are:


-- Incumbent Ed Bell, 9502 S. County H, Beloit.


-- Incumbent Craig T. Jones, 7247 W. Beloit-Newark Road, Beloit.


-- Incumbent Eric Stelter, 11504 W. Cleophas Road, Beloit.


-- Steven Haberman, 481 Janesville St., Janesville.


-- Charles M. Hagmann, 332 N. Gilbert St., Footville.


-- William Wingerson, 214 Janesville St., Footville.



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