Wawasee School Board Awards Bond Projects
By David Slone
SYRACUSE — Wawasee Schools’ Interim Director of Finance Dr. Brandon Penrod presented bids for the 2022 bond projects to the board Tuesday, April 18.
He said back in fall 2022, they floated a general obligation bond for just over $5.3 million and they’ve been working on what those projects will look like since then. They looked at what projects from their project resolution they could or could not afford.
“This first round here is, you’re going to notice is nowhere close to $5 million, but we do have another set of bids that will go out later,” he said.
There were four bid packages Penrod asked the board to award, including the Wawasee Middle School chill water insulation replacement; professional development building and civil work at Syracuse Elementary School; professional development building renovations and North Webster Elementary School roof access; and NWES windows replacement.
Core Mechanical was the low bid for package 1 at $678,500. R. Yoder Construction was the low bid for package 2 at $396,700. At $1,246,000, Milestone Construction was the low bidder for package 3, while AGA was the lowest bidder for package 4 at $665,000.
Penrod also asked the board to approve alternate 1, which is civil and electrical work at the professional development building in Syracuse. The low bid for that was $167,155 from R. Yoder.
“Just for clarification, professional development building is what we’re looking at doing with the building to the south of the current central office. Right now, it’s a warehouse-type of facility and we’ll take the front half of that, the (east) side of that, and create a professional development center for various things – more meetings, that kind of thing,” he said, asking the board to award the contracts.
Board President Don Bokhart asked if the bids seemed reasonable and Penrod said they did. The only one that was a little off from where they thought was the chill water insulation replacement, but that was because they increased the scope, Penrod said.
The board unanimously approved the awarding of the bids.
In other business, the board:
- Heard and approved the retirement of Vince Beasly as the Pathways CTE director. His retirement is effective May 30. Beasly is retiring from public education to pursue other opportunities in the private sector, according to Troyer. He said Beasly has given nine years to Wawasee and 21 years to public education.
- Approved a service contract agreement between Wawasee Community Schools and Lost Sparrows for consultant services on student trauma. The fee is $4,500 for seven one-hour staff presentations, with six already completed.
- Heard a presentation from Wawasee High School senior Ava Pohl on the Voice team and the work they are doing. Voice is a statewide organization that empowers youth to engage, educate and empower teens to celebrate a tobacco-free lifestyle.
- Heard that Tammy Hutchinson received the Indiana Association of School Business Officials 2023 Annual Meeting scholarship of $500. The meeting will take place May 11-12 at the Grand Wayne Convention Center in Fort Wayne. The award will be used primarily for the meeting’s registration fee.
- Heard the Milford Advanced Band earned a Gold rating at the Indiana State School Music Association Organizational Band Contest March 17 at Goshen Junior High School. It was the first time in many years the band participated in a contest, Troyer said.
- Approved a number of donations, including $500 from the Knights of Columbus to the Pow Wow at the high school and $500 to the Academic Hall of Fame; $2,500 from the Korenstra Family Foundation to go toward DECA’s trip; $100 from the North Webster Church of the Brethren Women’s Fellowship to go toward negative student lunch balances at NWES; $35 from Kevin and Marilyn Grindle in memory of Janet Elam, who was the Wawasee High School secretary and bookkeeper from 1968 to 1995; $300 from L.T. and J.S. Riesser in memory of Elam; $500 from Guesthouse 6225 to NWES for its clothes closet; $4,000 from Northern Lakes Insurance and Auto Owners to Wawasee Athletics; $1,000 from the Kosciusko County Community Foundation, representing the annual distribution from the Mitchell J. Price Memorial Scholarship Fund, to be distributed to the 2023 Wawasee awardee; $297 from the Community Foundation representing the annual distribution from the Cynthia Moir Thornburg Memorial Scholarship Fund; $600 from the Community Foundation representing the annual distribution from the Wawasee High School Class of 1989 Memorial Scholarship Fund; and $245 representing the annual distribution from the Dave Kistler Memorial Scholarship Fund.