Fort Dodge Community School District

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Early Childhood Center Moves Forward - from The Messenger

September 15, 2020

A local construction company has secured a sizeable contract with the Fort Dodge Community School District to complete the remodel of the former Arey School and Central Administration Office building.

The FDCSD Board of Education awarded a contract for $5,964,000 to Jensen Builders Ltd., of Fort Dodge, on Monday night. The building, located at 104 S. 17th St., will be remodeled into the district’s new Early Childhood Center to house preschool, pre-kindergarten, transitional kindergarten and kindergarten classes.

The estimate for the cost of the project from Allers Associates Architects was $6,674,502.

Ryan Utley, director of buildings and grounds for the district, recommended the board accept the bid from Jensen Builders, “based on their past work performance and ability to finish projects by the projected substantial completion date.”

The district also received bids from Henkel Construction, of Ames; Kingland Construction Services, of Forest City; Kolacia Construction Inc., of Fort Dodge; Pro Commercial, of Huxley; Sande Construction, of Humboldt; and Woodruff Construction, of Fort Dodge. Those bids ranged from $6,144,366 to $6,780,000.

Construction on the Early Childhood Center is set to begin around Oct. 1, with a substantial completion date of June 18, 2021.

“This project has a lot of complexity to it, so it will be a challenge, but I’m sure (Jensen) is up to it,” said Terry Allers, owner of Allers Associates Architects.

At the start of Monday’s meeting, the board held a public hearing on the Early Childhood Center Project. There were no comments from the public shared during the hearing and the district did not receive any written comments prior to the meeting.

The school board approved two change orders for the New Central Office and Maintenance Facility Project that is wrapping up. The first does not change the contract sum, but changes the date of substantial completion of the project from July 24 to Aug. 21.

The second change order added $23,158.11 to the contract sum. This covers additions made after the final walk-through of the site, like additional audio/visual boxes, additional lighting, mezzanine guardrail adjustments and more, Utley said.

The total cost of the project is now $2,952,897.24.

The board accepted a quote from Lyons Painting and Remodeling, of Fort Dodge, for the exterior painting of the new Central Administration building. The exterior painting was not included in the original project plan. The quote the board accepted from Lyons was for $14,045. The district also received a quote from K&D Painting, of Carroll, for $20,700. The painting will be completed this fall.

The board also accepted a request from Fort Dodge Senior High Assistant Principal Adam Kent to purchase $13,387.26 in textbooks from the Iowa Central Bookstore to use in the concurrent enrollment classes taught at Senior High. Instructors are required to use the same edition of the textbook that is used on the Iowa Central campus. The cost is included in the district’s textbook budget and covers all textbooks required by students taking classes for college credit.

At the end of the meeting, Superintendent Jesse Ulrich presented his superintendent goals for the 2020-2021 school year to the board.

These goals included building the capacity of staff as leaders and learners; implementing and evaluating an effective multi-tiered system of supports for behavioral and academic support of students; providing the board with level-appropriate baseline data of student achievement; continuing implementation of the FDCSD Facility Plan for building upgrades; and effectively implementing the return-to-learn plan and making recommendations to the board for changes that are needed.

Ulrich also gave an update to the board on the number of at-home learners throughout the district. Currently, there are 908 students in the district who are using the at-home learning model, about 24% of the total district.

In transitional kindergarten through fourth grade, there are 250 students learning at home, 242 in middle school and 386 in high school.

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