WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Price of Burlington School Dropping

Burlington, IA – The price tag for the Burlington School District's proposed middle school is dropping. That means more money should be available for improvements at other buildings.

Business Manager Chris Van Meter says Merit Construction (Cedar Rapids) was awarded the contract to build the new Southwest Middle School. She says the price tag would be around $14-million.

Van Meter says about a dozen firms bid on the project. She says the numbers ranged from $14-million to $16-million.

Van Meter says based on the construction contract, the new school should cost around $18-million. She says that includes engineering, design, and furnishing the building.

Van Meter says original estimates put the price tag at more than $20-million. She says the difference will allow the Burlington School District to avoid spending $1-million from its maintenance fund.

Van Meter says the lower cost will also allow the district to avoid short-term borrowing. She says that will save Burlington money on interest payments.

Construction could get underway this fall. The project still needs city approval.

Van Meter says a new street may need to be built by the Burlington School District.

Aldo Leopold Middle School

Meanwhile, the Burlington School District continues to wait for crews to finish the new Aldo Leopold Middle School. The original plans called for the building to open at the start of the current school year.

Business Manager Chris Van Meter says the district now hopes to gain possession of Aldo Leopold Middle School by the end of this month. She says a decision would then be needed as to whether to do a mid-year move or wait to open the new school next fall.