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UPDATED: Lorain district awards first round of bids for new high school


LORAIN — And so it begins.

With Monday’s awarding by Board of Education members of $57.5 million in construction bids, work on the new Lorain High School is expected to start next week. The project, at 2600 Ashland Ave., is the last in a 14-building, $208 million project that began in 2002.

“We are on our way,” Superintendent Tom Tucker said after the unanimous approval. “At last.”

About $4 million more in bids will be awarded later in the project with total construction cost estimated at nearly $61.5 million. An additional $10.5 million is for costs such as architect and construction management fees.

School officials had originally estimated the cost at $73 million or $74 million, but bids came in lower than estimated. State taxpayers are paying 81 percent of the cost of the school other than the approximately $2.8 million, 800-seat auditorium. Local taxpayers will pay the full cost of the auditorium.

The first phase of construction will involve installation of sewer and water lines, according to Jeff Hawks, Lorain Schools executive director of operations. The school is scheduled to open in August 2016, and while a lot can happen in two years, Hawks said he was confident the building will open on time.

Hawks said the contractors are aggressive. “We’ll be able to get every bit of it done,” he said.

Four Lorain County companies bid on the project, but none were awarded bids. However, half of the workers on the project will be Lorain County residents if they are qualified, and all will be unionized. That’s due to a project labor agreement that the state unsuccessfully fought in court.

Harry Williamson, Lorain County AFL-CIO president, said bids coming in lower than estimated is an example of the value of the agreements, which guarantee no work stoppages The agreements have been used on previous school projects that were completed on time and under budget.

“Workers will be coming out of the local union halls,” he said. “We’re excited.”

Bob Fiala, a partner at Then Design Architecture, the project architect, told board members he was also excited. Fiala said the 315,000-square-foot high school will be cutting edge. He compared it to a community college on the campus of a high school.

“It’s breathtaking,” Fiala said.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or

Award winners

Twelve companies were awarded about $57.5 million in bids for construction of the new Lorain High School by the Board of Education on Monday:

  • Mosser Construction Inc. (Fremont): 14.8 million for concrete and general trades
  • Detrick Industrial Piping Co., (Ashtabula): $12.1 million and heating and cooling
  • Foti Contracting LLC (Wickliffe): $9.1 million for masonry.
  • Westfield Electric Inc. (Gibsonburg): $5.6 million for electrical work.
  • Mull Iron (Rittman): $4.1 million for structural steel.
  • Precision Engineering (Solon): $2.8 million for site work.
  • Gunton Corp. (Bedford Heights): $2.3 million for glass and glazing.
  • Advance Roofing Systems Inc. (Walton Hills): $1.8 million for roofing.
  • Southeast Security Corp. (Sharon Center): $1.4 million for security and technology.
  • Farnham Equipment Co. (Columbus): $1.2 million for casework.
  • S.A. Communale Co. Inc. (Barberton): $1 million for fire protection.
  • Breckenridge Kitchen Equipment & Design (Huron): $884,000 for kitchen equipment.

SOURCE: Lorain Schools


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