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TUSD moves forward with nutrition center, roofing projects
TUSD Roofing Replacement
Turlock High Schools office is just one building slated to undergo work during Turlock Unified School Districts Roofing Replacement Project. On Tuesday, TUSD awarded the project bid to Kings Roofing in the amount of $1,293,780.

Turlock Unified School District’s vision of transforming a former car dealership into its new and innovative Child Nutrition Education Center is one step closer to fruition following the Board of Trustee’s decision to award the project’s bid to Royce Construction during their Tuesday meeting.

The bid for the Child Nutrition Education Center to Royce Construction was in the amount of $2,745,302, plus an owner directed contingency of 5 percent, or $129,302.

The approved project encompasses a base bid of $2,362,940, as well as added alternates, including asphalt paving in the parking lot for $25,104, an emergency backup generator for $134,160 and freezer slab and footings for $223,098. These three alternates were previously omitted from the overall project in January when school officials had to scale back the proposal to better fit the TUSD budget, however, the Board was given the option to add them back at a later date for an additional cost.

Last year, the Board approved an agreement with FF&J Architects to provide architectural services to convert a former Subaru dealership located at 1901 Auto Mall Drive into the Child Nutrition Education Center after the District made the decision in 2015 to move the Central Kitchen Facility off of the Dutcher Middle School campus. On Oct. 4, TUSD administration received authorization to solicit bids; however, all bids were rejected during the Dec. 6 Board meeting.

“With the information we received, we thought we would go out and do this a little differently,” said Child Nutrition Director Scott Soiseth. “I’ve learned a lot through this process.”

A more cost-efficient proposal for the Child Nutrition Education Center that was more in line with Turlock Unified School District’s budget was presented to the Board of Trustees in January, one month after the original project was found to cost a considerable amount more than what was originally anticipated.

During the January meeting, Gary Mallory from FF&J Architects presented Trustees with a revised proposal for the Child Nutrition Education Center that he said would not compromise the Child Nutrition program.

 “We’ve scaled back the project to the base core facility that Child Nutrition Services needs to operate out there,” said Mallory in January. “By making some changes to the interior finishes and the production area and kitchen, we were able to bring the project back down into a dollar range that the Board was expecting to see initially.”

 Among the items that were omitted from the main project was a freezer, trash compactor, asphalt paving, loading dock, conference room, grease interceptor and backup generator. Mallory said that while these items, or alternates, are listed apart from the main building proposal, the Board can decide to add them back on at a later date at an additional cost to the base bid.

On Tuesday, Board Chair Barney Gordon once again brought up his concerns regarding the scaled back proposals omission of a backup generator that he originally voiced during the January meeting.

“I’ve seen instances where a transformer at a site goes out and the site is down for a week,” said Gordon. “One of my biggest concerns isn't as much of replacing the content, we can write a check and do that — it will be painful, but we can do that — but being able to serve the meals. If you have students expecting lunch, now we can’t feed them lunch because we had a transformer go out, that’s an issue.”

Trustee Frank Lima echoed Gordon’s concern, who said that the generator would be an extremely worthy investment to TUSD if Turlock Irrigation District did lose power.

“I suspect that at any given time we’re feeding 14,000 kids on this campus,” said Lima. “I don’t know enough about your department or how much we’re storing, but I imagine it’s significant. I would think that it would be prudent and smart. That backup could potentially pay for itself on one or two uses. It seems to me to be a no-brainer.”

Also on Tuesday, trustees voted to award the bid for the Roofing Replacement Project to King’s Roofing in the amount of $1,293,780 and an owner directed contingency of 5 percent, or $64,689.

The sites that will undergo roofing replacement work are Turlock High School office and connected covered walkways, Julien Elementary School cafeteria, and Wakefield Elementary School office, library and kitchen. The project also includes three added alternates for Osbon Elementary School’s office and two classroom wings. School site roofs are evaluated annually, and are repaired in priority order, as needed.

“Our bids were very good, much better than we had originally anticipated,” said Director of Maintenance and Operations Scott Richardson.

According to TUSD, construction for the Roofing Replacement Project will begin on May 30, with substantial completion slated for Aug. 4.