WEST FARGO — West Fargo public schools officials can breathe a sigh of relief after opening bids Thursday, Feb. 13, for what will be the district's third high school.

District officials received bids from three general contractors along with mechanical and electrical contractors. Business Manager Levi Bachmeier said the base bids were within one-half percent of what the district budgeted.

General contractor bids were $31 million from Meinecke Johnson Company, $30 million from Gast Construction, and $32 million from TF Powers Construction. All three contractors are from Fargo. The School Board will hold a special meeting just before its workshop at 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17, at the Leidel Education Center to award the final contracts.

Along with mechanical and electrical work, the district budgeted a total of $39.5 million to build the new high school. That does not include on-site athletic facilities, which are part of another bid process.

A third West Fargo middle school is now under construction near the future high school. It is slated to open next fall. Both schools were part of a $106.1 million bond referendum district voters overwhelmingly approved in 2018. Construction of the new high school will begin this spring with plans to open it in fall 2021.

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On Tuesday, Feb. 18, the district will be opening bids for the estimated $5.9 million athletic facilities at the future Horace High School and Heritage Middle School site.