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Colinas del Norte Elementary Cafeteria Expansion Delayed

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Colinas del Norte Elementary will have to wait a little longer for a new gym and a bigger cafeteria.

The Rio Rancho Public Schools Board tonight was unhappy with the staff recommended contractor because the cost was considerably more than others that applied for the job. It instructed the staff to go back to the chosen contractor and try to negotiate a lower cost, delaying the start of the project that entails expanding the cafeteria into the space that is now the gymnasium and building a new gym. Both were built for 700 students and must accommodate at least 800.

Al Sena, the district’s executive director of facilities, came to the board tonight with the committee’s recommendation that RRPS hire HB Construction to do the job for $2.18 million. However, the three other firms that submitted proposals all came in with lower estimated costs. The lowest proposal was $1.77 million.

The district used a request for proposal process, which means it does not have to choose the lowest bidder. Instead, it can take into consideration other factors, like a company’s reputation, past work and experience, to determine who receives the contract.

Sena said although HB had the highest bid, it received the highest score and was believed to be the best contractor for the job and that he was confident with the committee’s selection. He said he will ask HB to make a “best and final offer” and bring that back to the board.

The board did approve contractors for the roofing project at Puesta del Sol Elementary and the administrative offices renovation at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary. Both projects are expected to begin this spring. DKG & Associates will complete the roofing project at Puesta for an estimated $685,000 and Enterprise Builders won the contract for the MLK project with a bid of $726,586.

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