New Kimberly elementary school

This artistic rendering shows the design for Kimberly’s new elementary school. Construction is slated to begin this month and finish in summer 2018.

COURTESY PHOTO

KIMBERLY — Construction will likely begin this month on a new Kimberly elementary school.

The Kimberly school board approved construction bids Thursday presented by contractor Starr Corp., totaling $10.7 million.

“We feel the estimates before diving into the project are pretty solid,” Superintendent Luke Schroeder said Tuesday.

A new 50,000-square-foot elementary school will open in fall 2018 to help alleviate overcrowding. Then, remodeling will begin on the existing elementary school.

The new 10-acre campus will be at the corner of Polk Street West and Emerald Drive North, east of Ballards Way subdivision.

The new school, the second elementary campus in Kimberly, will be paid for using a $14 million bond voters approved in May 2016.

The school district is using a design-build model, with CTA Architects Engineers handling the design and Starr Corp. building the school.

Starr Corp. put out 26 bid packages that were returned within the last two weeks, Schroeder said. “Every different package is a different aspect of the building.”

Each package, for example, covers an element of the project such as fencing, electrical and windows.

The Kimberly School District is aiming to break ground by the end of this month. But it’s still waiting to finalize the land purchase for the school site.

School trustees approved an appraisal and purchase agreement in mid-December with Ronald Lee Taylor and Phyllis Jo Taylor for $375,000.

The district then received approval from Kimberly City Council to have land annexed into city limits. But it’s waiting on council action in late April to subdivide the land. The city’s planning and zoning commission was slated to review the request Tuesday night.

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The school will be a single-story building and exterior design is masonry combined with metal panels, said Jason Derricott, project manager for Starr Corp.

He anticipates construction crews will be moving dirt starting April 17, weather permitting.

Derricott said he expects construction will be finished by summer 2018. Then, construction crews will begin remodeling the existing elementary school, a $3 million project that will be done by January 2019.

Another project for the school district: forming elementary school attendance zones and deciding on a name for the new school. A committee will meet for the first time within a couple of weeks.

For Kimberly residents, tax rates are expected to remain flat for the $14 million bond. That’s because an existing bond for Kimberly High School will be paid off.

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