Low bid boosts Youngstown schools' razing plans

June 11, 2009

Vindicator, Youngstown, Ohio

Harold Gwin

June 10, 2009

Jun. 10 -- YOUNGSTOWN -- Lower-than-expected bids to remove asbestos from West Elementary School on North Hazelwood Avenue could free up funds to demolish two other old, unused city school buildings.

That's a plan that will have to be approved by the Ohio School Facilities Commission, which is picking up 80 percent of a $190 million school-rebuilding program in the district, said Tony DeNiro, assistant superintendent for school business affairs.

The district is in discussions with the OSFC on that possibility, he said.

The city school board voted Tuesday to award the asbestos-removal contract at West to Environmental Assurance Co. Inc. of Avon, Ind., for $652,800, the second-lowest bid received.

That's nearly $1.6 million below the original estimate of $2.2 million, said Steve Ludwinski of Heery International Inc./G. Stephens, the district’s construction project manager.

The low bid came from Raze International Inc. of Shadyside, Ohio, at $623,000,Ibut Ludwinski said a review of all bid documents as well as past performances and projects handled by bidders resulted in his company's recommending that the contract not be given to Raze but to the next lowest, responsible bidder -- Environmental Assurance.

The district is currently seeking bids to tear down West after the asbestos is removed.

DeNiro said the $1.6 million saved on the West asbestos removal would be sufficient to cover the demolition of two other buildings, and the district is targeting the White Building on Lyden Avenue and the Adams Building on Cooper Street. The OSFC has been asked to approve that plan, he said.

In a related matter, the school board voted to move forward with the demolition of the Hillman Building on West Myrtle Avenue, awarding a $5,750 contract to Olsavsky Jaminet Architects Inc. to prepare the necessary demolition documents.

The board also voted to seek bids on removing asbestos from Hillman before it is razed. That is expected to cost about $100,000.

The OSFC has already committed to picking up 80 percent of that project.

The board also voted to seek bids for furniture, fixtures and equipment for the new Wilson Middle School now under construction on Gibson Street.

Construction costs are $10.5 million and the furniture and other furnishings are expected to cost an additional $375,000.

The OSFC is also picking up 80 percent of all those costs.

The building is expected to open next June.

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