CLENDENIN, W.Va. — The Kanawha County Board of Education unanimously approved Lewis County based Doss Enterprises LLC’s $19.7 million bid for site preparation work on the new Herbert Hoover High School.
The 5-0 motion came Monday morning during a special session meeting to get the ball rolling on work in the Givens Fork area for the school destroyed in the June 2016 floods.
Chuck Smith, the Kanawha County Schools Facilities Planning Executive Director said at the meeting he expects work to begin by the end of the year into January, after a 10-day notification period of approval is complete.
“They will begin by clearing the site, providing all the environmental and stormwater management controls on it. We have to locate part of the stream there to meet the DEP requirements,” Smith told the media.
In addition, Doss will balance, cut and fill the rocks while putting an access road from Frame Road up to the school site and put in utilities up from Route 119 to the school property line.
Kanawha County Schools paid more than $3 million for the proposed site earlier this year. The site is more than 200 acres on land previously owned by Elkview Baptist Church, but the school system is only using 96 acres of the land. Smith noted that the school only does whole take purchases when buying property
Smith said 3.2 million cubic yards of dirt will be moved, along with acres of trees to have the building pad done in late September, early October.
From there, a contract for the building package is expected to be put out for bid in the Spring of 2020.
The $19.7 million bid from Doss was the lowest of five bids and fell below the estimated cost of $25 million. Smith said during the board meeting that the bid awarded was around $6.5 million less than the second-lowest bid.
He believes it has something to do with equipment costs.
“In my opinion, they’ve got the equipment sitting idle right now and they are looking for work,” Smith said. “They are looking to do whatever they need to do to make it happen. Whenever you have large equipment, it costs you money to let it sit there. It’s much more economical for them to utilize that equipment.”
Smith and Alan Cummings, the Kanawha County Schools Purchasing Director, both backed Doss to board members with questions about the low bid on Monday. Smith said that the company has all kinds of experience in building pads for oil drilling sites, which is the same preparation work.
He also said this will be a “highly scrutinized project” and will feature many inspections to the foundation process, to make sure Doss is following requirements.
Last month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency released $52.3 million for the complete project, which has a goal of opening the school in the fall of 2022.