By Oliver Lazenby
The Blaine school district board of directors voted unanimously to accept Bellingham-based Dawson Construction’s $2.455 million construction bid for part of the high school grandstand project at a March 28 special meeting.
The project includes concession stands, restrooms, storage areas, an electrical room and an equipment drying room. Dawson’s was the lowest of three bids and the only one in the district’s budget of $2.67 million for the work.
The structure will go underneath the bleachers. The district purchased bleachers with 2,056 seats and a press box for $1.37 million from Southern Bleacher of Graham, Texas. The two components together – the bleachers and underlying structure – are known as the grandstand.
Dawson’s bid was a relief for school district officials, as the grandstands have been delayed since 2016 due to escalating costs.
“Given the climate of inflation we’re in it was good to see that there was a low bid that was within our range,” said district finance manager Amber Porter.
The district has been working to replace the current grandstands, which are small and don’t meet some ADA guidelines, for years. It originally planned to fund new grandstands with a $45 million 2015 bond but by the time the project went to bid escalating costs for the high school remodel didn’t leave any money for the grandstands.
Voters passed a levy in 2018 that included $3.14 million for new grandstands, but costs once again crept up, requiring the district to scale the project back and allocate up to $900,000 in contingency money left over from 2015 bond construction toward the grandstand, for a total of $4.04 million.
Work on the project should begin this spring, Porter said.
By Oliver Lazenby