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Lowest bid for high school project comes in $300,000 under estimate

The Park Rapids School Board, convening a special meeting this week, approved bids totaling $3,803,390 for the high school boiler/infrastructure project.

The contract estimate was $4,121,737. The majority of the project is being funded by stimulus dollars.

Contracts of $430,000 were awarded to Donlar Construction of Waite Park for general construction, $335,000 to Val Pro Glass of St. Paul for aluminum windows, $924,000 to Knapp Grover of Park Rapids for plumbing and piping, $1,598,400 to Peterson Sheet Metal of Bemidji for HVAC, $39,950 to Test and Balance Associates of Brooklyn Park and $467,040 to Lee Davis Electric of Park Rapids.

The bid awards were at the recommendation of Johnson Controls.

In other action, the board:

n Commended Jay Eystad for receiving $4,300 in matching grant funding from the Minnesota Twins Community Fund to build two dugouts in a baseball field west of Century School. The other half of the funding has been raised by the baseball organization.

n Recognized boys basketball coach Matt Brandt for a letter sent to Park Rapids athletic director John Schumacher and appearing in the Minnesota State High School League spring bulletin.

Justin Farkas, a registered official, wrote, "I have now officiated Mr. Brandt and his boys twice this season and I must say he is the perfect example of what it means for a coach to lead by example.

"Mr. Brandt shows respect for the officials, the players and the opposing teams. He also exemplifies sportsmanship to the top level, making sure that his players follow the same path. And his professionalism is carried throughout the entire game. All three of those items (respect, sportsmanship and professionalism) are carried down by his assistant coaches as well.

"There is a reason why now both times that I have officiated Park Rapids Area High School that I have left the game feeling good about the game and how we were treated," Farkas wrote. "It is so much appreciated knowing that there are coaches out there that will, even when the game is getting tough, keep after his kids and to work hard and stress the three items that he follows.

"Since the assistants follow his lead, the kids follow. Coach Brandt - thank you for your dedication in keeping the game fun," Farkas concluded.

Schumacher also extended praise. "It's a big plus," he told the board.

n Recognized PTA donations which include $2,409 to the Century media center from box top money, funding the second graders' trip to the recycling center, $800 for the eighth grade trip to the Soudan Mine, first graders' trip to Itasca, $900 for books and supplies, stocking the supply closet, $500 for teacher appreciation, cookies for Math Fair, $72 for Accelerated Reader awards; replacement of cameras in first and fourth grade pods, $1,100 for field trips, the elementary yearbook, $300 for Reflections art contest winners to go to state and $300 for the for the after school program.

PTA members also planned the teacher appreciation event and coordinated the fourth grade spelling bee.

n Closed the meeting to discuss negotiations.