Midd-West School Board approves district office relocation

Midd-West School Board approves district office relocation

MIDDLEBURG — The Midd-West School Board Monday approved spending nearly $400,000 to relocate the district office to the middle school in Middleburg.

The administrative offices are located in a separate building at 568 E. Main St. in Middleburg adjacent to the high school and will be moved to the former library at the middle school.

The board unanimously approved the hiring of WLS Inc. as the project’s contractor for $247,874 and Silvertip Inc. to perform the HVAC and plumbing work for $141,700.

No bids were submitted for the electrical work, which architect Jay Darkey said could be rebid or completed by the contractor as a change order.

Darkey told the board that the bids that were received “came in well below my estimates.”

He anticipates the electrical work will cost between $125,000 and $150,000, pushing the entire renovation price to about $559,000.

“I recognize it is a lot of money, but it would be cheaper than a new building,” Superintendent Joe Stroup said.

The district will pay for the renovations with capital reserve funds. District Business Manager Joan Hassinger said there are just under $900,000 available in reserve.

Board member Corey Smith said the work is necessary since the district office building is in “poor condition. It’s beyond its life.”

The building requires a new roof, HVAC system and has compliance issues, he said.

No decision has been made on what will be done with the building. The district could sell or lease the building or demolish it and maintain the property.

The renovations in the former library could begin next month and would be completed before the start of the 2023-24 school year, Darkey said.

He also provided the board with a $29,377 proposal from Tanner for new furniture, furnishings and equipment, including new desks and chairs for the board meeting room.

Board member Julie Eriksson balked at the expense.

“It’s way too much. There has to be a way to make it cheaper,” she said, suggesting using the same furniture used by board members, employees and the public in the current meeting room at the elementary school in Middleburg.

Stroup said if the existing furniture is taken to the new public meeting room, the district will have to buy replacement furniture since during the school day it is used by elementary school students. He also noted the company proposing to sell the furniture and equipment will assemble and install it, a service that wouldn’t be available if the district purchases chairs and desks on their own.