District 205 Releases First Bids for Elementary School Additions

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Rockford Public Schools released the first bids this week for construction work at Conklin, Lathrop and Spring Creek elementary schools. The work is tied to the district’s historic November $139 million bond referendum. The bids are available on DemandStar.com and rps205.com, and are advertised in the Rockford Register Star.

Work at the three schools will include building new gymnasiums, classrooms, art and music rooms, bathrooms and storage areas, and lighting, foundation work and exterior finishing.

District leaders prioritized the 10-year facilities plan for school-related projects based on building conditions, space requirements, accessibility and energy efficiency.

“Conklin, for example, was built in 1954 and is still a solid, well-built school but doesn’t offer the type of learning environments or space our kids need for 21st century learning,” explained Rockford Public Schools Chief Operations Officer Todd Schmidt. “We incorporated many of our teachers’ requests into construction plans in order to make it as user-friendly as possible while meeting the needs of our students, staff and curriculum.”

Schmidt said additional bids for high school work will be released in May. A committee of district operations staff and Ragnar Benson’s program management team will review the bids and analyze them for specifications and cost. Contracts will be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder after Rockford School Board approval.