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Andes Central moves forward with $13M expansion, remodel

LAKE ANDES — A major project to overhaul the Andes Central School District took another step forward this week.

On Wednesday, the Andes Central School Board met in special session to finalize the awarding of bids for the project, which Superintendent Debera Lucas said came in lower than anticipated. And at Monday's regularly scheduled board meeting, school officials will likely settle on a date for an official groundbreaking.

The approximately $13 million design is anticipated to add 55,000 square feet to the high school and connect the elementary and high schools. It includes 13 new classrooms, restrooms, speciality rooms, administrative offices, a courtyard, two new gymnasiums and various other amenities. An additional 24,000 square feet will be remodeled.

Also included in the designs is a "secured entrance," which creates a main point of entry for patrons entering the school during instructional hours. The secured entrance will be located near the administrative offices on the south end of the school.

The project was broken into five separate bids for different aspects of the work, Lucas said. The site work bid was awarded to Wagner Building Supply; casting to Rexwinkel Concrete, of Corsica; pre-cast concrete to Gage Brothers, of Sioux Falls; metal work to Katelman Steel, of Council Bluffs, Iowa; and masonry to S&S Masonry, of Wagner.

Two more bids will be awarded throughout the summer for interior work, including design, plumbing, electricity and more, Lucas said.

To fund the expansion and reconstruction, the district plans to take $6 million from its reserve funds, and has secured a loan through the United States Department of Agriculture with a 3.375 percent interest rate over a 20-year period, which will fund the remainder of the project.