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Hillsboro school may proceed with sports complex construction

HILLSBORO, N.D.--It appears construction for a proposed Hillsboro School District outdoor sports complex will proceed. Hillsboro School Board will meet Monday to consider the project after bids were opened last week. RAM Construction Services, Wi...

HILLSBORO, N.D.-It appears construction for a proposed Hillsboro School District outdoor sports complex will proceed.

Hillsboro School Board will meet Monday to consider the project after bids were opened last week. RAM Construction Services, Winsted, Minn., was the low bidder at $1.3 million, for the general, mechanical and electrical contracts.

The project, which is estimated at just under $1.586 million, was rebid after bids this past summer totaled came in more than 50 percent higher than the original project cost estimate.

"This is much better news," Superintendent Paula Pederson said.

School district voters narrowly approved a seven-mill, 20-year bond this spring for the project.

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However, when the project initially was bid in June, the lowest was $2.2 million.

Officials agreed the project was advertised too late in the season, after potential contractors presumably had plenty of work lined up for the rest of the year.

So, the bids were rejected and the project was postponed.

The project's building and grounds committee has modified the original proposal in order to bring the costs closer to $1.5 million, Pederson said.

"We did a lot of work to get these numbers down," she said.

Among the changes was elimination of lights for the baseball field.

The committee will recommend making up the difference through donations, sponsorships and possibly transferring money from other school district funds, she said.

"That was part of $1.5 million bond issue," Pederson said. "Voters said we could take from other sources."

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The school district already is receiving some donations. Agassiz Drain Tile of Buxton, N.D., is donating the drain tile and labor for the tile project. Nodak Electric Cooperative removed older, unused light poles at the football field at no cost.

Hillsboro alumni Jerry and Kathy Olson, who live in the Park Rapids, Minn., area, donated $7,000 toward the baseball field improvements. Jerry Olson was a standout athlete in baseball, as well as football and basketball, Pederson said.

Construction is scheduled to begin this spring, with completion within 180 days later.

The project includes a series of improvements to be made to the present sports complex, which includes football and baseball fields, but no track. The present complex also contains aging concessions, restrooms and few other amenities.

Among the planned improvements are an eight-lane track around the existing football field, bleachers, a concession stand with restrooms and lights for the football field.

Fitness center opens

The school district's $1.3 million Hillsboro Fitness Center opened this month.

The 6,270-square-foot fitness center is four times larger than the one it replaced, according to Pederson.

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The new fitness center is part of a $2.5 million school district expansion project that also included added classrooms at Hillsboro Elementary School.

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