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Lincoln company wins $20.2M bid to build new elementary school in northeast Lincoln
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Lincoln company wins $20.2M bid to build new elementary school in northeast Lincoln

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With construction schedules getting tight and concerns over supply chain issues growing, the Lincoln Board of Education moved swiftly Tuesday to put a local construction company to work building a new elementary school.

Board members voted unanimously to accept the $20,163,000 bid from Kingery Construction to build the school near 102nd and Holdrege streets.

The building for about 525 students and likely to be named for longtime LPS teacher Ada Robinson is to open in time for the start of school in August 2022. It's part of the bond issue approved by voters last year. 

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Scott Wieskamp, operations director for Lincoln Public Schools, told board members that the construction cost is about $1 million above what was budgeted. That's largely tied to a 3,500-square-foot increase in the size of the building, which is now targeted at 84,000 square feet.

Wieskamp said the increase in size wasn't necessary for one specific program but for a number of issues, including changes in technology and safety and security measures.

The total projected cost of the elementary school building project, however, is less than what LPS estimated in its 10-year facilities and infrastructure plan when factoring in inflation.

New elementary school map

"Right now, we are under the overall budget and feel comfortable with that, or we wouldn't be here tonight making the recommendation," Wieskamp said.

Four bids to build the elementary school were received Thursday, with the two lowest bids separated by $35,000 and the three lowest by just $112,000, or 0.5%.

Instead of delaying work for two weeks, board members opted to waive second reading and approved the bid Tuesday.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, the board approved $37.5 million in bids for the new high schools being built in southeast and northwest Lincoln — the two biggest projects of the $290 million bond issue.

The 44 bid packages, first discussed by the board at its last meeting, comprise all but a “handful” of remaining work on the high schools, Wieskamp said, and overall are more than $400,000 under budget.

LPS taking cautious approach to budget; staffing levels likely to drop

The bid packages are for a variety of work, everything from concrete work, grading and foundation and walls to railings, flooring, roofing, insulation and carpentry.

Work on the high school being built along Northwest 48th Street just south of Air Park and north of Interstate 80 is well underway. It is scheduled to open in the fall of 2022.

The high school being built near South 70th Street and Saltillo Road, near the now-under-construction South Beltway, will open the following year.

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