At its Jan. 15 meeting the Riverside Elementary District 96 Board of Education approved eight bid packages worth approximately $8.2 million for work to be done on the district’s four elementary schools this summer. The total cost of the projects is projected to be around $16 million.

The biggest project will be a major addition to Ames School. Smaller additions are planned for Hollywood and Blythe Park Schools while Central School will get an elevator and a new multipurpose room in what used to be the district’s administrative offices.

“We received really good numbers, well within our budget,” said Ramesh Nair who is overseeing the projects as the district’s owner’s representative.

The largest contract approved last week was $2,450,000 for sitework preparation and concrete work which is to be done by Berglund which is also serving as the construction manager for all the projects next summer. A contract worth $1,881,000 with FE Moran was approved for mechanical work at the four schools. Austin Electric will be paid $1,342,000 to do all the electrical work at the four schools. J&E Duff won the contract for masonry work with a bid of $1,024,000. Waukegan Steel won the contract to provide steel for the projects with a bid of $517,000. Lakeshore Glass will do the glazing work at a cost of $436,500. Safe Environment won the demolition contract with a bid of $327,950, and Thyssen Krupp will be paid $258,978 to supply and install elevators at Ames and Central schools. The elevator at Central School will cost $150,978 while the elevator at Ames will cost $108,000.

The house next to Ames School at 443 Loudon that the district bought last year for $350,000 to create more space for the addition will likely be demolished at the end of this month.

Thus far the school board has approved contracts worth about $9.7 million for the projects at the four schools.

Final zoning approval has not yet been granted for the Ames addition but Nair said that it was important to get contracts approved so that the contractors can begin to do site drawings and he said that some projects, those that require the acquisition of steel, require long lead times. In the unlikely event zoning approval is not granted the district would only be required to pay the cost of the site drawings.

“We had to approve the set of contracts to get these guys going,” Nair said, noting that the timeline to finish the Ames addition by mid-August is going to be tight.