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Officials to open bids for new Chesapeake Elementary

CHESAPEAKE -- State and local officials will gather Thursday afternoon to open bids for the new Chesapeake Elementary School.

"We hope to come in under bid, and I feel like, right now, the market is competitive, so I think we can do that," Chesapeake School Board President Arthur Suiter said.

Suiter said once the bids are opened, representatives of the Ohio School Facilities Commission will take the bids back to their offices in Columbus for review. After the review process, the best bid will be awarded. Suiter said he hopes construction will begin in late September.

"The site prep work is 85 percent completed," Suiter said. "The utilities are in the ground. They should be ready to start soon after we get some contractors."

Ground was broken on the new school in May. The expected completion date is early 2005.

Tanner and Stone of Portsmouth are the architects for the $9 million project. The OSFC will pay 85 percent of the cost and the district will pay 15 percent. Voters rejected the first levy to pay for the building, but later approved a second one.

The elementary school has been housed in the former middle school building which is on the same campus as the high school, new middle school, board office and athletic facilities.

When the new school is ready, the current elementary building will be torn down to make room for parking.