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FD school board OKs $1.15 million project

Plans to replace HVAC system at FDSH

A local company was awarded a $1.15 million contract to replace the HVAC system in the southeast hallway of Fort Dodge Senior High during Monday night’s Ford Dodge Community School District Board of Education meeting.

Ryan Utley, director of buildings and grounds for the district, presented the bids for the project to the board. Kolacia Construction, of Fort Dodge, was the low bid at $1,146,000.

The architect for the project, ISG Architects, estimated the cost of the project as $1,126,240.89.

Two other Fort Dodge contractors submitted bids for the project. Jensen Builders Ltd. submitted a bid for $1,209,000 and Woodruff Construction submitted a bid for $1,180,000.

The project is scheduled to start by June 7 and be completed by Aug. 8. It will replace two rooftop units that are extremely old, Utley said.

“This year, we’ve put in probably $20,000 just for repairs and parts,” he said. “It’s really hard to find parts.”

The project will be funded through Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief money provided to the district through the CARES Act in 2020.

The board also approved two large furniture purchases for the new Early Childhood Center and for the transition of the fifth grade to the elementary school buildings.

The district will purchase $428,981.44 of furniture for the new Early Childhood Center, which is scheduled to open this fall, from Premier Furniture and Equipment, of Waverly.

“This is the same company that we used for the furniture at the middle school and at Duncombe (Elementary School),” Utley said. “These items are being purchased off of the national purchasing contract, so this fulfills all of our bidding requirements.”

This furniture and equipment purchase will cover most of what will be needed for the new school building, but Utley told the board the district will pull furniture that is still in good shape from Riverside Early Learning Center and from the kindergarten classrooms at Duncombe.

The second purchase from Premier the board approved was for $219,470, for the fifth-grade transition this fall. That purchase includes new desks and chairs for Feelhaver and Cooper elementary schools.

Jeremy Pearson, district supervisor of information technology, presented the board with the 2021-2022 E-Rate projects.

The Federal Communications Commission’s E-Rate program uses funding from the Universal Service Fund to provide discounts for telecommunications, internet access and internal connections to eligible schools and libraries.

The three proposals Pearson presented were on the district’s firewall replacement, internet connection and fiber wide area network — three contracts that are scheduled to expire this year.

For the district’s firewall, Pearson recommended accepting a five-year proposal from Sterling Computer, of North Sioux City, South Dakota, at a cost of $81,195, before the E-Rate discount.

For the district’s internet connection, Pearson told the board the district has been paying Frontier Communications $4,300 per month for a 1GB connection since 2017. Mediacom submitted the lowest bid for the new contract, with a cost of $1,100 per month before the E-Rate discount for the same 1GB speeds.

For the fiber wide area network, Pearson recommended the district continue its partnership with Frontier Communications for a leased, dark fiber wide area network at a monthly cost of $2,975.44 before the E-Rate discount.

The board approved all three proposals. Pearson will then submit the projects to the E-Rate program to have the E-Rate discount approved. The discount is about 80%, he said.

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