St. Helens selects contractor for bond projects
A contractor has been selected to build a new middle and alternative high school campus for the St. Helens School District.
The St. Helens School District board of directors unanimously voted Wednesday night, Feb. 28, to approve a contract with Triplett Wellman Inc., a Woodburn-based contractor, to complete two bond projects within the district.
The $39 million bid submitted by Triplett Wellman was the lowest among three submitted by the Feb. 20 deadline.
The school district took part in a process last year requiring bidders to go through a preselection process. Of the five board-approved contractors, three submitted bids for final consideration.
Robinson Construction submitted a bid of $41.5 million, while Todd Construction topped the list with a bid of $44 million.
Each bid also contains cost estimates for value-added features requested by the school district's bond oversight committee. Those features include additional classroom space at the middle school, a covered play area, and adding an outdoor learning area, which added $887,000 to the bid.
Triplett Wellman has a work portfolio including a variety of projects, such as school buildings, public facilities and medical offices. Currently, the company is working on projects in Woodburn and Salem, according to the company's website.
In 2016, the company completed construction of a Chemeketa Community College facility that houses the machine, drafting and engineering department at the Salem campus.
Superintendent Scot Stockwell said the district sought local contractors to work on the Columbia County Education Campus project, but was unable to find one that had the bond capacity to take on the multimillion-dollar build.
Stockwell and Diana Kessler, a project manager with Heery International, explained that whenever possible the contractors and subcontractors the district hires will use local resources to complete the work.
Voters approved a $49.6 million bond in 2016 and the district received a $4 million matching grant from the state to complete construction of the new facilities. After the middle school and alternative high school projects are completed, the district will focus remaining funds on up-
grades to the St. Helens High School campus, including updates to safety and its science lab.
A ceremonial groundbreaking for construction of the CCEC campus is scheduled to take place Wednesday, March 21, at 5:30 p.m. A groundbreaking for the middle school has not been finalized, but will likely take place in April.