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Renovation bids awarded for Martinsburg North Middle School

April 16, 2013|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Berkeley County Schools Superintendent Manny P. Arvon hopes renovations planned for Martinsburg North Middle School can begin at the end of the school year.

Bids totaling $8.1 million for the project were awarded Tuesday night by the Berkeley County Board of Education, contingent upon anticipated funding decisions to be made Monday by the state School Building Authority.

The SBA is scheduled to meet Monday to consider a recommendation by its finance committee to “recapture” a total of $6.9 million in state funds that were awarded for Spring Mills High School and Gerrardstown Area Middle School construction projects. Then, later in the meeting, the group is slated to act on Berkeley County’s request for up to $5.9 million for North Middle from the same fund in which the recaptured money is proposed to be placed, according to the board’s agenda.

The county has committed $4.3 million in local funds toward the Martinsburg middle school project to expand the gymnasium and cafeteria, remove asbestos tile and make classroom improvements. General utility upgrades also will be completed, according to Berkeley County’s proposal.

Arvon confirmed after Tuesday’s meeting that $1 million of the recaptured state funding would be retained by the SBA.

Arvon said the $2.9 million general trades contract awarded to W. Harley Miller Contractors Inc. included a 3 percent increase that was added after the school district received the bids in September 2012.

The adjustment to the Martinsburg contractor’s bid was allowed, given the amount of time that has passed since the proposal was received, Arvon said. Yet, even with the increase, Arvon said W. Harley Miller’s bid still was well below other contractors and remains “a very good bid.”

The other contractors who submitted bids for plumbing, electrical, fire suppression, food service equipment, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning agreed to honor their proposals until May 1, officials said.

Overall, the school district is “tickled to death” with the bids, Arvon said.

The renovation project is expected to take 18 months to complete and school administrators have a plan to use an already completed 20-classroom addition at North Middle to keep students away from renovation work, Arvon said.

The renovation is the last project being financed in part by a $51.5 million bond issue that Berkeley County voters approved in 2009.

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