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LHS bids opened

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“The (school) board will review the bids, select one then send it to the County Commission,” he said. Before it gets to the full commission, however, the Education and Finance Committees must make their recommendations.

“The Board of Education will take them under advisement,” said Mike Davis, director of Wilson County Schools, before the bids were opened. He welcomed everyone in attendance, which in addition to representatives of the construction firms submitting bids included two school board members and three county commissioners.

Morris said each firm bid on Package A, which was grading and earthwork, and Package B which was everything else. Package C is both of those added together.

Four bids were submitted, all by Nashville-based construction firms. The first bid opened was from R.G. Anderson which offered a bid of $56,767,000. For Package A, the company bid $3,470,000, and for Package B bid $53,297,000.

The second company was Ray Bell Construction which submitted a total bid of $62.75 million. Included in that amount is $3.75 million for Package A and $59 million for Package B.

The third bid opened was from Hardaway Construction which submitted a total amount of $58 million. Package A’s bid was $4 million, and Package B’s was $54 million.

The fourth and final bid was from Solomon Builders which a total bid of $60.1 million. The bid from the company for Package A was $12 million and was $48 million for Package B.

“These are the four bids that we received,” Morris said after they were read. There is about a 10 percent difference between the lowest bid of $56.7 million and the highest bid of $62.75 million.

The school board’s next meeting is set for 6 p.m., Monday, Aug. 4 at the Central Office, 251 Stumpy Lane, Lebanon. Morris said he did not know if the board would consider the bids at the Monday meeting or at another time.

Morris said he was not surprised by the amounts bid for the new LHS by the four companies. “They were close to what I thought it was going to run.”

On Tuesday, the State Fire Marshal’s office gave thumbs up to open the new Mt. Juliet High School replacement facility on Curd Road in time for the start of school. Students report for an abbreviated day today at their schools. The first full day of school is Monday, Aug. 11.

Although it was feared that change orders and weather delays would mean the opening of the new MJHS would be pushed to as late as November, the construction work was completed almost four months ahead of schedule.

The cost of the new MJHS is $44 million. The school is three stories and can accommodate 2,400 students, teachers, administrators and support staff. It is located off Curd Road in West Wilson County.

A new Lebanon High has been discussed for years by county and city officials, parents, alumni and students. In February, the school board closed on 60 acres on South Hartmann Drive near Hickory Ridge Road for the school at a cost of $2.8 million.

In March, Jim Harris of Civil Site Design presented the concept plan for the new school and noted then it would be similar to the new MJHS, but reversed. The entrances for LHS would be different, however, and would be based on that of Caruthers Hall, the original site of Cumberland University’s Law School.

Harris presented the site plan to the Lebanon Planning Commission at its March meeting which was approved unanimously.

County commission required the construction of the new school to be put out for bids this time rather than using the design-build method as it has in the past. Commission must still determine how construction of the school will be funded.

Hewlett Spencer and Steed Brothers have worked together to construct and expand several schools in the county, beginning with W.A. Wright Elementary in the early 1990s. The two firms have had a falling out in recent months. Both have made charges against the other concerning each one’s role or responsibility with the construction program in which they were engaged with county government.

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