Cost for track project to be determined: Dallas school officials working with contractor on price reduction

The Dallas School Board selected a contractor to install a new track at Dallas High School.

DALLAS — The Dallas School Board picked a contractor and placed a cap on the cost to perform the prep work for installing a new track at Dallas High School at its July 8 meeting.

Superintendent Michelle Johnstone said the final cost is not yet determined because district officials will work with the contractor to lower the price tag.

Hal’s Construction submitted the low bid on the evacuation and prep work at $884,032. The bid included costs for optional features. In a separate bid, Beynon Sports Surfaces submitted a base cost of $218,462 to install a new track surface. That bid also included several optional alternatives.

The district has budgeted about $300,000 for track surfacing and $500,000 in maintenance bond money to pay for prep work related to drainage.

Members of the board said approving a bid without knowing the final cost was an unusual process. Johnstone said it was necessary to designate the contractor before working on lowering the price.

“Go with the lowest bidder here and (we’ll) sit down with them and hash what it’s going to look like and get to a final dollar amount before we get started,” Johnstone said. “Like I said, we are trying to bring it down a little bit closer to what we actually have in cash.”

The board approved assigning the bid to Hal’s Construction at a cost of “no more than $884,032.”

The get-together between the district representatives and Hal’s took place on July 11. The results of that meeting, including the final cost for the excavation will be presented to the board in a future meeting.

Greg Locke, a member of the Dallas Booster Club who engineered the turf field project at Gallaspy Stadium, said the district should consider the alternatives on the prep work portion if it fits into the budget.

He said the base bid includes installing a gravel walkway from the gate at the stadium to the visitors’ bleachers. Alternatives would pave that path with asphalt or concrete and place a retaining wall on the south side of the track to reduce the possibility of gravel tumbling onto the track surface.

“There’s maybe some decisions to be made on those alternates,” Locke said. “I’m not sure how you want to approve those.”

He said the Booster Club may be able to pitch in on the project. 

“There are more things, potentially, that the district could do, or there are some items that the Booster Club – after we talk to the Booster Club -- could potentially take on as little projects that might help reduce the cost,” Locke said.

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