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Memorial Stadium will receive a new perimeter fencing after an unanimous vote by the El Dorado School Board Monday night.

District Superintendent Jim Tucker said that the district received a $70,000 grant for the project “many months ago,” bringing its cost down significantly. The district initially pursued the project last August, but rejected the two bids submitted at that time.

“We put it out for bid and came back with more than we wanted to pay. We waited a little while and put it out for bid again,” Tucker said. “I think we’re happy with it.”

Four bids were entered this time around, but there were problems with two of them, CADM architect Blake Dunn said.

The lowest bidder failed to provide a bond required by the Arkansas Division of Public School Academic Facilities & Transportation and the Department of Finance & Administration’s procurement office. Because of this, it couldn’t be accepted. A “computation error” from the highest bidder caused the other bid to be trashed.

The board approved Dunn’s recommendation to accept a bid from Delta Specialty Contractors, based in Monroe, La. The original bid was $165,000, but with two deductible alternates, the total is about $99,000, he said. After using grant money, the district would pay $29,000 for the new fence.

Six-foot commercial steel fencing would be placed near the existing chain-link surrounding Memorial Stadium, the architect said.

“We did ask for two deductible alternates on the project. One which was to paint all of the existing chain-link fencing … and the second deductible alternate was to change the ornamental fencing around the perimeter from a heavy commercial fencing product to a standard commercial fencing product like the one we used several years ago at Washington Middle.”

Vertical pickets make the product hard to climb, Dunn said. Several contract requirements ensure the security of patrons using the track and maintenance of facilities at the stadium.

The district also plans to turf and enclose the El Dorado High School practice field with “partial pavilion.” Before putting the project out for bids, Dunn suggested that it apply for a fire suppression waiver that would save the district money, Tucker said.

“Technically speaking this type of building, according to Arkansas Fire Prevention code, has to have a sprinkler system,” the architect said. “It’s a building open to the elements. You can’t really be enclosed it, so we petitioned the state fire marshal’s office for a consideration to give us a waiver to not have a fire sprinkler system. Not only is it an expense, it’ll end up being a liability out there in freezing weather and stuff like that … It saves the district about $3 per square foot.”

If the building will only be used for “physical education and athletic facilities,” not assembly, the waiver may be granted. Board members approved a resolution establishing a policy for the building.

The board also approved bids for student leaders and omissions liability insurance and a student transfer request to Junction City. In an executive session, the board discussed the employment of Raquel Primm. President Susan Turbeville said the board would take no vote during that time.

The El Dorado School Board’s next meeting is scheduled at 6 p.m. Feb. 12 in the administrative office boardroom.

Brittany Williams may be reached at 870-862-6611 or Follow her on Twitter and like her on Facebook @BWilliamsEDNT for updates on Union County school news.

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