Board to meet to consider bids on new Southeast High

Art rendering of the new Southeast High School
Art rendering of the new Southeast High School

Construction will begin in earnest on a new Southeast High School if Wichita school board members approve several bids during a special meeting Friday.

The board will meet at noon Friday to consider a monthly finance report and other consent items, including more than $10 million in construction contracts related to the new high school.

In October, the board selected Dondlinger Construction as construction manager for the new Southeast High School at 127th Street East and Pawnee, the largest project of the 2008 bond issue.

On Friday, board members will consider a $4.7 million contract with Dondlinger for concrete work at the site, a $2.5 million contract with Bountiful Enterprises for structural steel materials, a $1.1 million contract with Fremar Corporation for earth work, a $1 million contract with Jack Foster Co. for steel work, and a $127,149 contract with Dondlinger for surveying and layout.

As part of its agreement with the district, Dondlinger must competitively bid all construction work packages valued at more than $20,000 and award the work to the lowest responsible bidder.

The initial agreement sets a maximum cost for the project at $58 million and a completion date of Aug. 1, 2016, but bond managers have said that price is “only a target.”

Ken Arnold of Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey, the Wichita district’s bond manager, said Dondlinger is expected to give its “guaranteed maximum price” by mid- to late January.

“They’ve come back (to the district) for portions of the project that have been bid that they’re self-performing or that other companies are doing,” Arnold said Thursday.

When school board members approved the project last year, officials said the new school and athletic facilities would cost about $54 million. Since then, the estimate has risen to $60 million.

Bond managers said earlier this year that construction costs have risen from $130 per square foot in 2010 to about $170 per square foot.

Crews broke ground in September on the new Southeast High. It will be the first Class 6A high school built in the district since Northwest High School in 1978.

Reach Suzanne Perez Tobias at 316-268-6567 or stobias@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @suzannetobias.