NKSD is expected to OK high school renovations bid

POULSBO — Despite receiving only one bid that was $3.2 million more than expected, the North Kitsap School District Board didn’t balk at Hilger Construction’s June 21 bid of $15.2 million for the renovation and modernization of North Kitsap High School.

The Tacoma-based company’s quote had enough sticker shock to power a small city, but after reviewing the risks involved with a rebid and factoring in Hilger’s impressive track record, the NKSD Board is leaning toward approval.

The final determination will likely be made during a special meeting scheduled for 1 p.m. July 2 at the NKSD offices. Official decisions cannot be made during a school board study session.

A major point in Hilger Construction’s favor is it has worked with and impressed the district before, said NKSD capital programs director Robin Shoemaker.

“We feel confident in this contractor. We like their approach and work ethic,” she said. “I would have to say there’s a wisdom in doing this now. We’re comfortable with the contractor.”

NKSD Supt. Gene Medina agreed with Shoemaker’s sentiment.

“We really know the work of the bidder,” he said. “We have had a healthy working relationship with them in the past.”

NKSD finance director Nancy Moffatt feels confident in the company putting forth the only bid as well.

“I almost feel it’s a bigger risk if it was re-bidded,” she said. “We know this contractor very well and know the kind of quality work they do. I would be very concerned if we were going with a contractor that we didn’t know.”

Shoemaker said the renovation projects will give the high school a totally new look once completed.

“The entire main building is being renovated,” she said, referring to the 300, 400, 500 and 600 wing. The current library will be converted into an administrators’ room and space will be added for a new library. “The commons will have a significant amount of more square footage as well. It will create more space.”

To resolve the discrepancy between the capital project budget for the North Kitsap High School Phase II main building and modernization project ($11.9 million) and Hilger Construction’s bid ($15.2 million), the district plans to free up contingency funds in the project that weren’t needed, as well as redirect about $800,000 in impact fees to help curb the costs associated with the bid.

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