MARSHALL — Marshall Public Schools’ plan to create a career and technical education center has run into challenges like higher construction costs and potential delays. At Monday’s school board meeting, board member Bill Mulso said issues like materials availability might push the timeline back for parts of the project.
“We have the current facility in place, so we can cover the CNA and the welding for next year,” Mulso said. “We still think that we can get this project done, but we won’t have it at the beginning of next (school) year as we had hoped.”
MPS had purchased property for the new Marshall Career and Technical Institute along U.S. Highway 59 in Marshall with the plan to move the district’s Certified Nursing Assistant and welding programs to renovated buildings at the site. The property also had room for expansion into automotive, HVAC or construction programs.
On Monday, the school board voted to accept electrical, mechanical and general contractor bids for the CTI. Bids were awarded to Bladholm Construction, Bisbee Plumbing and Heating and Meier Electric for a total of about $1.72 million.
Mulso reported on the bidding process for the CTI project in an update from the district’s facilities committee.
“We’re seeing a lot of areas with bids coming in unexpectedly higher than original projections,” Mulso said. Project managers ICS thought the construction could still be done within the district’s budget, Mulso said. “But we have some work to do in order to make that happen. We had a conversation about our need to put this project together in a way that makes sure that the facility still meets what we intended it to do, and it’s more of a long-term solution.”
In addition to the bids, Mulso said the committee also talked about potential construction timelines.
“The timeline of materials is one of the bigger issues that contractors have been dealing with,” he said. “As we make some changes, we’re also going to have to go to the state for review on this project, so that’s a 16 to 20-week timeline that comes into play, too.”
The delays would likely affect how quickly different phases of the CTI would be developed.
Mulso said the school district needed to continue to look for and work with local partners like businesses as the project moves forward.