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Platteville school board approves construction contract
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After the Platteville Public Schools annual meeting (see page 1), the School Board held a special meeting to approve a construction management contract with Kraemer Bros. of Plain.

The 5–0 vote didn’t reflect some board members’ displeasure with part of the contract.

PPS superintendent Connie Valenza said the school district’s initial Request for Proposal included a requirement that all portions of the project be bid out.

Instead, the contract includes bidding out of “selected materials,” said PPS business manager Art Beaulieu, which would have the effect of “locking in prices now as opposed to having to wait for the entire job to go through and competitively bid” all parts of the project.

Valenza said the school district’s architects, Plunkett Raysich Associates of Milwaukee, said bidding out the entire project would mean “a significant increase on the timeline,” which in turn would affect construction and bonding costs. The project is projected to be completed in time for the 2016–17 school year.

Beaulieu said construction costs are increasing about 0.5 percent per month. On the other hand, interest rates are “steady or going down,” meaning that the school district should be able to get interest rates around 3 percent for project bonds.

Labor on the project also will be priced by area prevailing wage. The state Legislature’s 2015–17 budget included reform of prevailing wages, but the reform doesn’t take effect until 2018.

The special meeting was held in the Platteville High School library, where some of the $16.6 million in work will be done — removing the library’s mezzanine. The project also includes moving first grade from Neal Wilkins Early Learning Center, and fourth grade from Platteville Middle School, to Westview Elementary School, with a two-story addition and new gymnasium to be built.