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RCS rejects bid on West Elementary roofing project

Russellville City Schools Board of Education held a special meeting Feb. 20 so the board could officially accept or reject bids for repair to the roof at West Elementary.

The board of education began the process of bidding out the project in December, but the board was legally unable to accept any of the bids.

“This is just a formality we have to go through so we can move on with the next step of the project,” said RCS Superintendent Heath Grimes.

Grimes said RCS has already replaced the roof on the center section and one pod at West Elementary, but the roof is still in need of additional repair.

“At this point, we have a leak there almost every day, and it’s really getting frustrating to the teachers and the administration,” Grimes said.

RCS Transportation Director Alan Wilson said when RCS began the bid to replace the roof, the base bid included one section of the roof and a pod.

RCS also included two alternates in the process to see how much it would cost to replace other areas of the roof. Wilson said the alternates were included because he was not sure how much it would cost to replace the roof on the center cafeteria and one pod.

Wilson said the lowest bidder on the base project was not the lowest on Alternate 1 but it was on Alternate 2.

The second lowest bidder for the base project was the lowest bid on Alternate 1 but was higher on Alternate 2.

Despite this bidder being higher on the base project and Alternate 2, it was the lowest price to replace all areas of the roof.

“That was the lowest bid, but the building commission does not recognize that because it is not the base bid; it is an alternate,” Wilson said. “They told us we cannot legally do all three because the lowest bidder is not lower on Alternate 1 than the second lowest bidder.”

Wilson said because of this, the board’s only choice is to reject all bids and re-bid the project. The new bid will throw out all alternates and bid out the cost to replace the entire roof.

“Normally what they do is accept the base price, and then the alternatives are just add-ons,” Wilson said. “But they told us we cannot legally do that, so that leaves us with no choice but to begin the bidding process again.”

Wilson said originally the board was not sure whether would have the money needed to replace the remainder of the roof, but the increased rain over the past month is forcing the board to put higher priority on the project.

“The excess rain we have had recently has caused other areas to begin leaking to the point where we have to just do it all,” Wilson said.

The new bid will include the roof on the cafeteria, kitchen and two pods.

The board unanimously rejected all of the current bids and agreed to re-bid the project. The bid must be re-posted for an additional three weeks before the board can accept or reject the new bids.

The project was posted for bidding that day.