Grayslake Elementary District 46 is expected to pay much less than expected to air-condition a school serving students in seventh and eighth grades for the next academic year.
Facilities engineer consultant Michael Linder, in a presentation to District 46 board members Wednesday night, said a low bid of $790,500 for the air conditioning at Grayslake Middle School is below what had been an expected $994,000.
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Linder said at least six bidders sought the District 46 summer project. Board members eventually will vote whether to accept the lowest air conditioning proposal from Martin Petersen Co. Inc. of Kenosha, Wis.
"All the bids were very aggressive and very competitive," Linder said.
Martin Petersen's clients include Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Lake Forest College and Lake Zurich Unit District 95.
In February, the board voted 5-2 in favor of cooling the middle school for less than $1 million. There were not enough board votes to approve air conditioning for Woodview and Meadowview elementary schools, which are buildings in Grayslake serving kindergarten through fourth grade.
Linder said a competitive situation between businesses seeking work led to the lower-than-expected bids.
"I think we're in a really unique market and I think it's my responsibility to bring it to the board," Linder said. "We're not going to see prices like this again."
District 46 board President Ray Millington had tried to convince his colleagues in February to approve air conditioning for all three buildings. He said students would be treated as "second-class citizens" if they are in the buildings still without air conditioning.
Linder said the pricing is low enough to warrant consideration of having air conditioning at Woodview, Meadowview and the middle school.
"I still say we should now, even at this late date, try to get a bid in on those two schools," Linder said, referring to Meadowview and Woodview. "I think it means a half-million dollars to the district. So I'm asking you to reconsider that."
Proponents of installing air conditioning at the middle school noted its enrollment of more than 800 students is largest of the district's buildings.
Cool: 'We're not going to see prices like this again'