Eureka Springs board accepts greenhouse bid

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Eureka Springs School Board gave the greenhouse project the green light at its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 8.

The board voted to accept a bid for $204,000 from Davis Construction in Harrison for the construction of the greenhouse. The district was previously approved for a grant of $109,650 from the state Department of Career Education to pay for construction of the greenhouse on district property and help pave the way for the district to offer agriculture education classes.

Superintendent Bryan Pruitt said the district is responsible for the construction of the concrete pad foundation and utilities. The district must also guarantee that the building is ADA-compliant, he said.

“The state says it will cost you 20 percent for your pad. On normal ground, you could do that, but this is Eureka Springs,” Pruitt said. “We have quite a few slopes, and we have to meet ADA compliance.”

He said he spoke to the architect for the project, Modus Studio, about some revisions to the construction designs in order to cut down on expenses.

“We have a couple of options. We would come off the back of the trades building, which already has a ramp there, and restructure that,” Pruitt said. “The initial bid from Davis was $224,000, and we’ve got it down to about $204,000 by cutting out a few things from the sidewalk and the lighting inside the greenhouse. It had some rather expensive grow lights that were about $5,000. We can construct those ourselves and save some money there.”

The other option, he said, would be to reapply to the state for a grant with new construction plans and do the work through self-contracting.

“We might be able to save a little bit. I don’t know how much,” Pruitt said. “But then we’re talking about reapplying and going through the entire process again. I would like to get it going and get our kids in there.”

The board opted to accept the bid from Davis Construction for the revised greenhouse construction plan.

The board also voted to accept a bid for $83,100 from O’Neal’s Electric Heating and Cooling for the middle school gym heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) project.

Pruitt said the district was able to cut some items in the project to get a lower bid.

“One of the costs that got high on it was getting concrete behind the middle school gym,” he said. “One recommendation was us doing the cement ourselves, and basically O’Neal’s has cut it down to $83,100 with us eliminating that and a couple of other things.”

Also at the meeting, the board voted to approve a resolution stating that the district will hold its school election in September by absentee ballot and early voting only.

“[Board members] Chris McClung and Al Larson are unopposed. Debbie Davis has decided not to run, so that position is open,” Pruitt said. “If we adopt this resolution, it will save us election fees by doing absentee ballot and early voting only.”

The board also voted to approve the Arkansas School Boards Association Model Policy Contract as well as three student transfers into the Eureka Springs School District from Berryville and three student transfers from Eureka Springs to the Berryville School District.

The board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12, in the district administration building.

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