September 04, 2013 - A contract for nearly $625,000 for improvements at Long Elementary School recently was awarded by the Lindbergh Board of Education.
Board members voted unanimously to award the $624,700 contract to Spencer Contracting Co. of Arnold, which submitted the lowest of four bids, according to Executive Director of Planning and Development Karl Guyer.
In December, Lindbergh Schools paid $850,000 to buy 4.684 acres adjacent to Long Elementary, 9021 Sappington Road. The land purchase will provide the space for the improvements, which include new play fields, an expanded parking lot and improved on-site traffic flow.
For traffic flow, the plan calls for the existing Long entrance to remain in place as an entrance-only driveway onto the site that will be dedicated to car traffic. All cars will exit the campus onto Sappington Road through a new exit driveway.
The current exit from the parking lot will be closed and a new three-lane driveway will be created roughly across from Banyon Tree Court. Two lanes will be used for exiting the campus and one lane for an entrance.
At drop-off and dismissal times on school days, this entrance will be for buses only.
Buses will exit through Doercrest Drive, which will be gated except when used by five buses twice a day.
The school board voted unanimously in February to approve the plans for Long, which Superintendent Jim Simpson has said will solve traffic-congestion problems that have existed for decades at the school.
At an Aug. 19 board meeting, Guyer said, "... The low bidder is one that I can support moving forward as an acceptable contractor ... They have done an outstanding job for Kirkwood, the Fox School District and Mehlville, and each of those districts said that they would be glad to have that person be a low bidder to award further work to ..."
Board member Vicki Englund asked whether Spencer Contracting's bid included the demolition of a house on the site.
"This is inclusive of the entire project," Guyer replied. "Ahead of this work, we have already disconnected all of the utilities, so that does not slow us down. There was abatement work both in the barn and the house that has been taken care of ...
"That aspect's been eliminated ..."
Board Secretary Karen Schuster asked why the alternates for the play-field area that were included as part of Spencer
Contracting's bid — $36,700 for sod and $37,361 for an irrigation system — weren't being recommended.
"It would be wonderful to be able to turn the project over when we were done and have a complete yard, if you will. But it was really more of a function of just taking a look at the dollars ...," Guyer said.
In bringing the issue to the board, Guyer said, "I felt more of a financial obligation to hold back a little bit, if you will. But if there's a desire to do one of those or both, it would be wonderful ..."
Simpson said, "... We have the money to do the sod and irrigation, and it's one of those things that it will make it almost immediately available ... We didn't know how the board felt about sod and irrigation, so we wanted you to have that discussion ..."
Englund made a motion to approve Spencer Contracting's base bid of $588,000, plus the alternate for sod.
"... The motion I'm making is just to do the sod. I think that the irrigation system ... would be a fancy part, a luxury item — bells and whistles — that we don't need to be spending money on ...," she said.