Construction is scheduled to begin this summer on three of four school renovation projects approved by Portland voters in 2017, now that the school board has accepted a bid for the final project.

The board voted unanimously Tuesday night to accept a $14.6 million bid from Great Falls Construction for the work on Presumpscot Elementary School.

The winning bid was the lowest of three received for the project but still exceeds the budgeted amount by about $4.3 million.

To cover the extra cost, the board was able to move funds that had been allocated for construction on Reiche Elementary School, the bid on which recently came in more than $4.8 million under budget.

The board’s action Tuesday night means construction is now slated to start on renovations at three elementary schools – Presumpscot, Reiche and Longfellow – this summer. The projects are part of a $64 million Buildings For Our Future initiative approved by voters in 2017.

The initiative also includes renovations on a fourth school, Lyseth, which are on track to be completed this summer.

“We’ve reached a major milestone in getting all four schools in the process of renovation,” school board Chair Emily Figdor said in a news release Wednesday. “I think that’s extraordinary.”

The renovations at Presumpscot include two additions – a front administrative area and a large addition to the back of the school with a new cafeteria and classrooms – as well as some interior renovations. Construction is expected to continue through the summer of 2022.

The shift in funding still results in a total bid surplus of $521,916 between the three final projects. The city’s District Advisory Building Committee plans to schedule a meeting to discuss how best to allocate the additional funds between the projects at the remaining three schools.


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