Work to begin on new middle school

Bids came in about 23 percent under budget, an architect said.
AUSTINTOWN -- Construction of a new middle school that will replace the 88-year-old Austintown Middle School is expected to start in two to three weeks.
The school board met in special session Wednesday and awarded bids for the project.
"We're under budget," said Stan Watson, who will retire from the superintendent's post Aug. 1. "This is a great design and a building that will be very efficient and effective for generations."
John DeFrance of Olsavsky-Jaminet of Youngstown, the project architects, said the bids were about 23 percent under budget, which allowed the school district to move forward with the alternate bids for landscaping, stadium sidewalk installation and other work.
"This is a happy situation," DeFrance said.
He attributed the lower bids to timing, saying that there weren't a lot of school construction projects being advertised for bid at the time the district sought bids.
"There's also been some ease in the steel crunch," DeFrance said.
Watson said the district, the architects and the construction manager, R.P. Carbone of Cleveland, also spent a lot of time fine-tuning the project to make sure the design would provide effective education for students but also be an efficient building.
Dale Couch of R.P. Carbone expects construction to start in two to three weeks, although work to get the South Raccoon Road site ready has been proceeding for several months.
Other contracts and figures
Board members awarded the contract for general contractor to Hively Construction Co. Inc. of Canfield. The company's roughly $11 million bid was the lowest of the five companies that submitted proposals.
Western Reserve Mechanical of Niles received the contract for $2,879,300 for heating, ventilation and air conditioning work. Komar Plumbing of Boardman, was awarded the plumbing contract for $964,974.
North Coast Fire Protection of Warren submitted the low bid of $344,100 for fire protection work and was awarded the contract and Enertech Electrical of Lowellville received the electric contract totaling about $1.7 million.
The three-floor, 174,668-square-foot school will house pupils in grades six to eight and have 44 classrooms, about 900 square feet each.

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