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Bids Overbudget Again, Plans Adjusted for New Johnston High School

JOHNSTON, Iowa — Despite one final roadblock, the Johnston School Board expects construction on the new high school to be underway next month. A second round of construction bids came in almost three million dollars over budget and threatened to hold up the project yet again, but district officials say they’ve found a solution.

In order to cut costs, the district plans to extend the construction time by nine months, shelve plans for a new football stadium, and repurpose furniture from the old high school. It may also delay plans to move administrative offices.

“I feel like we value engineered what we needed to do and protected all the things we promised the community during the levee request,” says Superintendent Corey Lunn.

The school board says a big reason that construction bids keep coming in over budget is that the American economy has improved since the budget was set and construction costs have risen.

“Frankly, people that are working in construction, there`s a lot more work for them right now. Back when we first talked about this, there was very little work to be had but now it`s booming,” says School Board President Greg Dockum.

The $72 million project is expected to be complete in time for the 2017 school year.

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