By Mike Petersen
Sports Editor & Staff Writer 

High school project bids lower than engineer's estimate

Ball diamond, parking lot improvements to cost $2.27 million


February 23, 2023

A Spencer company was awarded the contract for a major improvement project at Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn High School.

Graves Construction Co. submitted the low bid of $2,272,238 for the project. According to John Hight, of Beck Engineering, Inc., the successful bid was $35,000 lower than the engineer's estimate.

"We got a really good bid," Hight said during Monday's board meeting. "That contractor has experience in that line of construction."

The project is divided into three phases. The first includes surface and stormwater drainage improvements to the west parking lot and paving a portion of the north drive.

Division II improvements include replacing the bleachers and press box at the baseball diamond, along with other upgrades; construction of larger dugouts at both diamonds; and replacement and relocation of bullpens and batting cages.

Electrical upgrades in the third phase include retrofitting fixtures in the south parking lot; installing six light poles in the west parking lot and adjacent to the baseball diamond; and upgrading electrical services for both diamonds.

According to information provided last month, work on the first phase is scheduled to begin June 5, with staggered starting dates for the second and third phases. The final completion deadline is Sept. 29.

Hight said there were no surprises in the bid process, but BEI did field "a lot of questions" from potential bidders.

The project will be financed with Capital Projects and Physical Plant and Equipment Levy funds.

• Success filling most positions

Resignations from Nate Hemiller, high school principal, and Matt Van Voorst, middle school principal, were accepted, effective at the end of the school year. Contracts were issued to Blake Wendt for the high school principal position and to Heidi Douma for middle school principal.

Additional resignations were accepted from Jim Thomas, high school social studies; Austin Alexander, middle school social studies; and Emilee Moranville, elementary teacher.

Contracts were also issued to Libby Riege, high school math; Elizabeth Letien, middle school math; and McKenna Jacobson, middle school social studies and middle school assistant softball coach. Jaden Kleinhesselink will be the shared Human Resources Director for Sheldon and H-M-S.

Superintendent Patrick Carlin said the district has not been able to fill special education teaching positions, but in general is having a "pretty good hiring season." He is especially pleased with the process of filling both principal positions.

"I think we were lucky to get who we got, when we got them," Carlin said.


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