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School board approves plan for pavement improvement

In Monday’s meeting, the West Fargo School Board unanimously authorized a contract with MBN Engineering of Fargo to conduct an assessment of the condition of several parking lots and sidewalks throughout the district’s school.

The district expects the cost of renovations to parking lots and sidewalks in most need of work to be roughly $640,000.

The approved contract is based on eight percent of the work that is expected to be done on the project, which is estimated at $51,200.

“There is some concern about the impact this will have on our budget,” business manager Mark Lemer said. “However, when we reviewed the budget with the planning and development committee… We are positioned well to get this project completed, along with a host of other projects that are in the budget that will be coming forward throughout the year. Those funds are there.”

The board is expected to authorize the district to accept bids on parking lot renovation at the Dec. 9 meeting.

In other action, the board:

*Swore in new board member Allan Skramstad.

Skramstad fills the vacancy on the school board left by Angela Korsmo, who retired last month after 16 years on the board.

Skramstad took his oath of office before the board during the meeting.

“In the process (of selecting a new board member), we had some fantastic individuals,” board member Dave Olson said. “Allan rose to the top, which says a lot about him.”

*Awarded bids for fitness equipment at Sheyenne High School and Liberty Middle School. The contract was awarded to Push Pedal Pull of Fargo for a cost of $36,610.10, roughly $11,400 under the district’s budgetary estimate.

While the bid from Push Pedal Pull was roughly $10,000 more than that from vendor Pro Maxima of Houston, Texas, the chosen bid was deemed a better fit for the district as the equipment matches that of the existing equipment at West Fargo High School, and the proximity of the vendor makes ongoing maintenance and support more of a possibility.

The cost of the equipment will come out of the construction funds of the two schools.

*Approved a change order for additional soil excavation at Sheyenne High School.

The district’s contract with Meinecke-Johnson for “Phase II” construction of the school calls for the excavation to be the same depth as the initial building, but special inspections revealed that the soil under the theater had less bearing capacity than would be recommended to support the expansion.

“The area below the theatre and music wing has been excavated to a much lower level than any other part of that building,” Lemer said. “It just has to do with the quality of the soils on that part of the site... When the engineers came back and tested it, they didn’t have a high degree of confidence that they would be stable enough to support the building.”

As a result, engineers have recommended the excavation of an additional foot to be replaced with engineered fill.

The cost of this work is $37,380. All change orders in excess of $25,000 must be brought to the board.

*Approved recommendations made by the calendar committee for the 2014-2015 school year.

Under the proposed calendar, the first day of school will be Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, and classes will end on Thursday, May 28, 2015.