Ottumwa Schools awards Market on Main contract to local Frase Company

Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 10:12 PM CDT
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - Three months after officially closing on Market on Main, the Ottumwa Community School District has awarded a bid contract to transform the current Market on Main interior into a space meant for dual enrollment and college preparedness classes. While 20 contractors pulled plans for the renovation, only two submitted bids. Superintendent Mike McGrory attributes that to the recent explosion in construction business: “I wasn’t shocked we didn’t get a lot of bids. But I was hoping for more than two.”

Of the two they got, one of the contracts was rescinded after errors and omissions during the bid compilation. Leaving the district with one bid - from local business Frase Company. Altogether, the bid would cost $1,358,523. That’s $100,000 more than the district’s projections.

Rebidding the project would likely not result in any savings, and most likely delay the project into the second semester. Not ideal, says McGrory, who says a “large number” of students signed up for the district’s new classes hosted at Market on Main. “I think the board’s going to be very pleased with the amount of kids we’ll have going down there.”

The district wants the project done by August 20th, the Friday before the start of the fall semester. McGrory’s pitch to the board was saying the sole bid doesn’t put them in an ideal situation. “It caused me some sleepless nights with figuring out how to move forward with this, because it was kind of a puzzle. But I think we’re in a good place.” Ultimately, the board approved the bid, 5 to 1.

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