School board approves bid for new Orange Beach school


Baldwin County Schools’ leadership has approved a $26.1 million bid for the construction of the new Orange Beach Middle/High School, after the initial bids were rejected for being $20 million over budget.

The 110,000 square foot facility will be built by Sharp Inc. and now has an expected completion date of June 2020, extending the deadline for completion to June 2020 from the initial proposed date of Nov. 2019.

Superintendent Eddie Tyler said the timing deadline for construction was a major factor in the bidding process. Initially, Thrash Contractors was the only group to submit a bid for the project, coming in at $42.7 million with its bid. The school system’s initial estimates for the project were closer to $25 million.

“I think that was a shock and awe to everyone,” Tyler said. “The main thing that drove the price of the bid was the time we placed on the start of this year and finish to 12 months. That was unrealistic for contractors coming to the table and their subs. That drove a lot of them away from the table.”

Tyler said the system was able to negotiate with the contractors to try to bring in a more realistic bid amount.

“We went back to the drawing board after we opened the bids initially because state law allows us to do that with one bid,” Tyler said. “We started negotiating. Several contractors came to the table and we valued engineered stuff.”

The board voted 7-0 to accept the bid.