The school board is set to vote on contractor Thursday

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FARMINGTON — A postponed renovation project at a Farmington elementary school is showing new life as the school board plans to vote this week on a contractor's bid.

The Farmington Municipal School District Board of Education is scheduled to vote Thursday evening on approving a bid for the Country Club Elementary School renovation project, according to the district's Chief of Operations Ted Lasiewicz.

The new total project cost is set for $6.5 million. The original projected cost was estimated around $4.89 million last June, Lasiewicz said.

Board members rejected all bids last May, when the lowest of the three bids received were about $1.7 million more than the projected budget.

The school was built in 1954, and the most recent of six additions was built in 2002 for the kitchen and cafeteria.

The project would renovate multiple school systems, including the fire alarm, air conditioning, ventilation, heating and plumbing systems.

All the ceilings would be replaced, and a brand-new electric and fire suppression system would be installed.

The action item was set for the April 11 board meeting but it was pulled after the New Mexico Public School Facilities Authority raised a concern about the contractor being able to handle the scope of work in the time allotted, according to Lasiewicz.

If approved, the construction work is scheduled to begin June 3 with a target completion date of August 2020, according to the March 14 board minutes.

Lasiewicz said all five new project bids are within the $6.5 million budget.

School Board President Kyle Rhodes is eager to see the renovations to get underway.

"The whole board is really excited about it," Rhodes said. "The first time around, (the bids) came in quite a bit higher than expectations."

Future work is being planned based on community input, including installing an enclosure in the breezeway between the main building and the cafeteria along with adding a restroom in the area, according to board minutes.

The district has applied for a grant to fund removing exterior doors on classrooms and installing new windows to replace the doors, along with renovations for the courtyard.

Future funding will be required for work on the enclosure and courtyard renovation, according to Lasiewicz.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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