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Construction Bid Awarded For Athletic Complex

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New Football Field Will Have Artificial Turf

The Glenwood Community School District has secured its construction partner for its new athletic complex. Meeting in special session late Friday afternoon, the Glenwood Board of Education awarded the Phase 2 construction bid for the new athletic complex to Lincoln, Neb. – based Genesis Contracting. Genesis, one of three companies seeking the construction contract, submitted the low bid of $6.4999 million, which includes installation of artificial turf on the football field.

Glenwood Community School District Superintendent Devin Embray confirmed after Friday’s meeting that the Rams’ new football field will include a artificial playing surface, funded primarily through an on-going capital campaign that has now reached $437,000 of the targeted goal of $500,000.

The three construction bids all came in higher than school officials had hoped for, with Genesis’ winning bid coming in the lowest of the three but $300,000 more than the district’s original estimates for the project. The complex was expected to cost $5.7 million with an additional $500,000 coming from the private fundraising effort for the turf.

Embray assured board members before Friday’s vote that adequate funding is in place to cover the construction debt.  He cited the district’s collection of $300,000 of next year’s SAVE (Secure An Advanced Vision For Education) money in the current fiscal year and a decision to spread out a planned $150,000 donation to the Mills County trailhead project over three years as revenue sources.

“We’re not out of the woods but we have a $300,000 cushion, a contingency,” Embray said after the meeting.

Embray and Genesis Contracting representatives will meet in the coming days to discuss value engineering ideas to determine if there are any areas of the project that could be changed or scaled back to reduce costs. Embray said he’d like to see $100,000 in cuts come out of those discussions.

“A lot of that will come from the contractor,” said Embray of potential cost-cutting discussions with Genesis. “The contractors will look at the plans and the specs and they’ll say ‘You know, if we do this or that it will knock off $20,000’ or something. It’s another way of looking at the budget. There’s cost-savings to be found in there.”

Genesis Contracting president Mitch Holt said Glenwood residents can expect to see “shovels in the ground” at the construction site within two or three weeks and he believes there are areas where cost-cutting measures can be taken to reduce the construction price tag.

“Every project has them, but you have to know what the owner’s needs are,” Holt said.

The other Phase 2 bids for the project were submitted by Andersen Construction of Council Bluffs ($6.68 million) and Omaha-based Mecco Henne Construction ($6.78 million).

Mark Hughes Construction wrapped Phase 1 of the project in November with demolition of the former site and some preliminary dirt work.

Site preparation, including addressing grading and soil compaction issues, will likely be high on the list of Genesis’ priorities heading into winter. 

Due to the spongy soil on the site, according to Embray, the complex’s “gateway” building required extra dirt work attention in the form of a sub-base geogrid. That process, with its fiberglass grid topped by a foot of rock and then several feet of dirt, is used to improve soil compaction under new constructions. The 6,200-square-foot football building will house the locker rooms and concession stand as well as serve as the main entrance to the complex.

The same geogrid process could be required for several other areas on the site along the north and east sides of the complex, depending on further soil testing, Embray said.

“We didn’t know for sure if we’d have to do that, you don’t know until you starting ripping apart (the ground),” Embray said. “We don’t think the entire area will need the geogrid but we have to plan for the worst. If we plan for the worst and they come back in and say we only have to do certain spots of compaction here and there but the rest is okay, it’s a win-win for us. It will allow us reduce the amount of money we will have to use in our contingency (budget).”

Holt did concede the athletic complex project has an “aggressive timeline” which calls for substantial completion in September 2019, but he’s confident work will be completed on time.

Genesis has been involved in several major school-related construction projects in the region, including the Wickersham Athletic Complex in Council Bluffs and a recent classroom wing addition at a parochial school in Lincoln.

The majority of the funding for Glenwood’s athletic complex project will come from the district’s voter approved 10-year, Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) and SAVE monies it receives through the one-cent sales tax levy.