Huge savings - Middle School addition won’t cost nearly as much as initially estimated


The West Liberty School District will benefit from the lack of major construction projects in the state at the present time, finding the low bid for the addition to the West Liberty Middle School nearly $2 million less than initial estimates.

Getting bids from 13 different general contractors, the West Liberty School District Board of Education voted Monday night, Aug. 1, at a virtual meeting, to award the winning bid to a North Liberty firm for construction of what was initially estimated to be a $4.48 million addition and renovation to the school.

Peak Construction Group, Inc., had the low bid of $2.289 million for the eight-classroom project that will rise adjacent to the southwest part of the present building, the first part of an overall plan to eventually eliminate the aging Early Learning Center building.

Principal Project Architect FEH Design reported “a tremendous participation level for this size of project” in the bidding war, which had a high of $2,847,00 while the second lowest bidder. Conlon Construction of Dubuque, was just $1,001 from winning the project at $2.29 million. The average bid was $2,540,952.54.

District business manager Abby Ortiz said bids were much lower than anticipated, pointing out the district had budgeted closer to $4 million to complete the project.

The firm said they plan to have the project completed by August 1, 2021, starting work in late September after filing all the proper paperwork, according to Steve Oyen, a principal owner of the company with Kris Chyko.

Peak Construction has over 20 years of experience in general contracting in the Eastern Iowa area, including taking on many school projects in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids and even an elementary school in Amana. They have also done everything from office remodels to large scale municipal water and water treatment plants.

Oyen said the company will try to use local subcontractors in a number of areas, from supplying cement work to roofing and even mechanical plumbing and electricity. He said subcontractors have also already bid on the project as well.

The main new addition includes two science rooms set up especially for middle school age students, four regular classrooms, two smaller classrooms and a maintenance area. It would also include two additional exits from the school as well as two exits into a cement floored courtyard area, which will be surrounded by classrooms. The construction will include new lockers and work to some of the present building.