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Board ready for Sheyenne expansion bids

With Phase I of Sheyenne's construction set to end this year, the school board is looking to begin the second phase. Pioneer File Photo

In Monday's meeting, the West Fargo School Board gave its unanimous approval for the administration to advertise for bids for "Phase II" of the Sheyenne 9th Grade Center's expansion into a full high school.

This stage of the expansion would add space for the fine arts and physical education program, including a 605-seat auditorium, practice space for various musical groups, locker rooms and a third gymnasium, including bleacher seating for 1,000 fans.

"Phase I" of the expansion, which will be completed this fall, adds classrooms and other academic necessities to the building.

The budget set aside for this construction is just under $10.6 million.

Due to aggressive bids for "Phase I" of the expansion project, the district came out under budget and may have a bit of leeway with "alternate" features added in the second phase. Possibilities for alternate features include a fourth "auxiliary" gymnasium and/or more practice space for the fine arts if bids for the second addition are equally aggressive.

"The fine arts addition for this facility had always been envisioned having three rehearsal spaces - for band, orchestra and choir," business manager Mark Lemer said. "However, (YHR Partners Ltd., Moorhead, Minn.) did their final design development estimate and they factored in some of these potential cost increases."

The district will open bids on Thursday, Feb. 14 and bring them to before the board on Monday, Feb. 25.

Phase II of construction should be complete in time for the start of the 2014 school year. At that point, the school will house freshmen, sophomores and juniors. Seniors will begin attending at the start of the 2015 school year.

The board also unanimously approved roughly $735,000 in salaries for new positions, including principal at Liberty Middle School (a position that has already been awarded to Cheney Middle School's assistant principal, Denise Jonas) and principal for West Fargo's next elementary school, on which the board hopes to begin construction this spring.

The combined salaries of these two positions would cost the district just under $249,000 a year.

Among other salaries approved was that of an activities director for the soon-to-be Sheyenne High School, which will cost $103,680 with benefits, and a director of strategic initiatives, which will guide the district STEM program, among other things, and cost $123,840 with benefits.

Other positions approved were that of counselor and library media specialist for Liberty Middle School and medical careers and CISCO teachers at Sheyenne High School.