The company that was awarded the contract offered the lowest of the eight bids for the project.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
NILES -- Site development and clearing for the new middle school is expected to start in two to three weeks.
School board members awarded a $523,369 contract Thursday for site development and clearing to Schimley Excavating of Niles. The company submitted the lowest of eight bids opened last week.
Christopher L. Niemann, project manager for URS Construction Services of Pittsburgh, the design company, said the construction manager's estimate for the site preparation project was $520,000. A 2-percent contingency will cover the amount over the estimate.
"The budget is still good," Niemann said.
Site development and clearing involves grading work and preparing the area for construction. The new middle school in Brynhyfryd Park will replace the 88-year-old Edison Junior High School.
Total project cost is $14,004,015 and voters passed a bond issue in 1999 to fund the $5.88 million local share. A grant from the Ohio School Facilities Commission will pay the rest.
Proceedings for property: The board also authorized Superintendent Patrick Guliano to start eminent-domain proceedings for property at 333 Brown St., which is owned by Donald Froom. The owners and the district haven't been able to agree on a price for the property through negotiations.
The school district says it needs the property for a driveway leading in and out of the new middle school property.
The board's vote to award a contract for site preparation followed comments from resident Audrey John, who is concerned about the potential health risks to the children attending the school if they're bitten by mosquitoes.
Board member John Davis said the panel always takes issues of children's safety seriously.
Davis said board members, administrators and representatives from the state studied the site and determined it was suitable for the new school.
Also on agenda: In other business, Davis said he and some members of the administration recently visited Campbell Memorial High School to "investigate the use of a uniform dress code."
The code provides students with flexibility, enabling them to wear combinations of red, black and white, school colors, to school. Shirts must have collars and lettering is prohibited.
He said he is "cautiously looking in to" something similar for Niles.
"Campbell and Niles are very much alike and it's working for them," Davis said.