NEH board lets bus barn bids

At a special session Wednesday afternoon, the Northeast Hamilton School Board agreed to let bids for a new bus barn and hired a new board secretary/treasurer.

Gary Anderson of Skott and Anderson Architects of Mason City reported on the plans for the new bus barn to be built east of the school campus.

When surveying the site, Anderson reported that the site would require additional fill in order to prevent flooding during wet seasons.

In addition to applying three feet of fill, drainage pipes would have to be installed to reroute water underneath the seven-bay building with a completed estimated cost of $280,000.

When originally proposed, NEH Administrative Assistant Dennis Bahr set a limit of $185,000 for the new barn.

Anderson presented two additional options to the Board.

The second option called for fill of approximately 2.5 ft. and a structure with three tandem bays and a heated shop at a cost of $250,000.

The third option called for moving the location to a site north of the old high school building for a price tag of $215,000.

In debating the options, Board member Randy Greenfield rejected the idea of building the property without proper elevation.

“If you have a lower building, you will have flooding,” he said, conceding that all projects tend to cost more than expected. “This is just standard. Whenever you do a project, it always costs more”.

Board members Kathy Pruismann and Roxanne Anderson rejected the idea of moving the proposed site north of the high school due to traffic concerns for students and commercial businesses in Blairsburg.

Bahr assured the Board that the District could afford the more costly option, but when tasked with the assignment, he had hoped to keep it under $200,000.

After a 50-minute discussion, the Board chose to let the bids on the second option at a cost of $250,000. The bus barn would be a pole barn

building which would include a concrete foundation, three overhead doors and a standard entrance door. It would include electricity for the busses and water and sanitary sewer piping.

The design would also include a heated service bay.

“Number two is a traditional bus barn/fire station design,” said architect Gary Anderson.

The Board rescheduled its July 18 meeting to July 25 and will open bids for the bus barn at a public hearing at 6:30 p.m.

In other business, the Board approved a $44,000 contract with Kathy Biere to serve as the NEH Board Secretary/Treasurer. Biere will also receive $700/per semester for mileage from Webster City. In addition, the Board voted to give Biere a $1,000 stipend when she receives state school board credentials in two years.

Biere will work at Northeast Hamilton three days a week and Cathi Hildebrand will fill in for the other two days in the Blairsburg school office.

Both Biere and Hildebrand work in the newly formed Regional Business Office which will serve both Northeast Hamilton and Webster City school districts.