Heavy equipment could start rumbling in about two weeks after the Stanley County School Board accepted the low bid Tuesday from Sharpe Enterprises Inc. of Pierre to build its new elementary school.

Six construction companies in all offered bids.

Sharpe offered a base bid of $4.270 million. Counting three bid alternatives the district had asked for, and one other alternative that the district is investigating to see whether it fits its needs for a gym floor, the total bid could come to $4,756,500. But the district wants to do additional research on the gym floor before it commits to that part of the project.

Superintendent Don Hotalling said that’s within the range of what the district had projected and said he’s pleased with where the bids came in.

School board members Rick Cronin and Tina Titze had similar views, though Titze said she wished more bids had been offered. After some initial demolition work to remove a building the district has bought, construction will begin and will continue throughout the winter.

The board is looking at a move-in date of December 2013 for the project, Titze said.

The board originally approved the plan to build an approximately 38,000-square-foot school building to house junior kindergarten through fifth grade in February 2012.

The project is to provide classrooms for junior kindergarten through fifth grade, as well as administrative offices, a conference room, a gymnasium/multipurpose room, a kitchen and a music room.

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