Post Falls school project set

Bids for new elementary to be requested this summer

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POST FALLS - The first in a series of Post Falls School District construction projects funded by the $19.5 million bond voters approved last month has been arranged.

The school board has awarded the bid of the second-story addition and kitchen expansion at River City Middle School to Contractors Northwest, Inc. The builder submitted a bid of $3.049 million, which was the lowest of four firms.

Idaho law requires school districts to accept the lowest bid on school construction projects.

"The bid was well within our ($4 million) budget for the project and we are happy to work with a very credible local firm," said Superintendent Jerry Keane, adding that CNI was the contractor that built the Kootenai Technical Education Campus (KTEC) in Rathdrum. "CNI has an extensive resume of construction experience."

Keane said construction on the project is expected to start in late May and be completed late summer before school starts in the fall. The school was designed to have a second story when it was built, so much of the legwork for the addition is already done.

The district plans to request bids in July or early August to build a new $10 million elementary school on the west side of Greensferry Road north of Poleline Avenue. The school will open in fall 2016.

"We plan to start construction late August or early September," Keane said.

Students who live in the Fieldstone subdivision will attend the school, plus others as boundaries will be adjusted next year.

The district this summer should also be able to pick off some, but not all, of the smaller projects funded by the bond, Keane said.

The funding package also included a $1 million sum for a two-classroom addition at West Ridge; heating unit upgrades at Seltice, Frederick Post/ New Vision and Mullan Trail; energy efficiency remodels at Mullan Trail and Frederick Post; and security system upgrades throughout the district.

Work on a $2.5 million performing arts auditorium and a $2 million auxiliary gym at Post Falls High will likely start within the next year.

Keane said the district hopes to have the bond sale completed in early May so the district can pay the contractors. He said the district does not want to compromise quality on the projects by trying to get them completed in a hurry.

Property taxes will not increase from what residents are currently paying as a result of the bond passing.

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