Contractor secured for classroom renovation

By Cecilia Fox -

BETHEL TWP. — After a disappointing lack of bids the first time, Bethel Local Schools received five bids for a classroom renovation project the second time it was bid and approved a contractor at their meeting this week.

The board accepted a bid from Becker Construction in the amount of $174,000 for the conversion and renovation of classrooms spaces. According to Superintendent Ginny Potter, the bid came in about $4,000 lower than expected.

“So we’re really excited,” she said. “And we’re ready to start.”

The district did not receive any bids for the project earlier this year, so it could not be completed over the summer. Potter said the work is now expected to be completed in early November.

The work includes the conversion of the old high school cafeteria into two classroom spaces, including one specially designed special education classroom. A basement classroom in the oldest building will be renovated so that it can be used again, she said.

“The difficult part will be doing it around the kids. But we’ll be cordoning off the areas and making sure the kids won’t be around the construction,” she said.

In July, the board approved the purchase of classroom furniture for $39,072 through state contract from Elements IV Interiors for the new classrooms.

Because the classrooms were not ready for the start of school, some classes will be held in the board of education classroom in the elementary building and in the old auditorium.

The district has seen student population growth in recent years, putting space at a premium. At a meeting earlier this month, Potter told the board that the most recent enrollment total was 1,430 students. The beginning of the year total in 2017 was 1,387, and in 2012 it was 946.

By Cecilia Fox

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Reach Cecilia Fox at