Kanawha education board approves Hoover contracts

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Kanawha County Board of Education on Thursday approved $67.4 million worth of contracts related to the construction of the new Herbert Hoover High School.

The work packages include funding for the school building and necessary infrastructure, as well as equipment and furniture.

The new institution will be located in the Givens Fork area between Interstate 79 and U.S. Route 119. The building will replace the school destroyed in the June 2016 floods, with the school expected to open in the fall of 2022.

The board received multiple bids on nine work packages:

— Swope Construction Co., which has offices in Bluefield and Huntington: $40.5 million for general construction.
— Dougherty Company Inc., of Charleston: $3.5 million for plumbing.
— DSO Mechanical LLC, of South Charleston: $7.7 million and $105,000 for heating and ventilation work.
— Progressive Electric Inc., of Charleston: $9.3 million.
— Nitro Constructions Services, of Nitro: $479,000 for fire suppression work.
— C & T Design and Equipment Co., a national company with an office in Charleston: $697,727.78 for food service equipment.
— Capitol Business Interiors, of Charleston: $242,765 for metal lockers and $1.3 million for classroom furniture, tables and shelving.
— RM Huffman Co., of South Charleston: $855,000 for auditorium seating, gym equipment and equipment.
— Dant Clayton Corporation, of Louisville, Kentucky: $2.7 million for aluminum bleachers and grandstands.

The school system estimated the cost of the packages would be around $85 million.

Chuck Smith, Kanawha County Schools’ executive director of facility planning, said the use of multiple contractors is designed to limit costs and utilize as many West Virginia contractors as possible.

“When you have the one contractor, typically you have a large bonding capacity that’s required. There’s very, very few contractors that could meet that bonding capacity,” he said.

“You’ll have companies coming in that are specialties guys that we just don’t have here.”

Smith noted the school system struggled to receive some bids because of the lack of available firms in West Virginia. He added the school system did not receive bids on three packages, meaning the contracts will again receive offers.

“It was furnishing and equipment kind of things. It was gym equipment,” he said.

Herbert Hoover High School students currently have in-person instruction in portable classrooms located on the Elkview Middle School campus.