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The next step to building a new home for Stillson Elementary and improving Chippewa Falls middle and high schools is now complete.

In a unanimous 5-0 vote Tuesday night, the Chippewa Falls school board selected Miron Construction’s bid of $50,040,650. The century-old Wisconsin-based construction company will begin the project within the next few months.

Miron Construction is based in Neenah, Wis., but has a regional office in Eau Claire, as well as Madison, Wausau, Milwaukee and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

District business manager Chad Trowbridge said the process to get to choosing a winning bid was a long one, but he is confident the board has chosen the right bid and company for the high profile project.

“This has been a very exciting process for us,” Throwbridge said. “It’s one we’ve been working on for a long time. We looked at and considered everything that was on the table. We looked things over high and low, left and right and came to the conclusion that our recommendation would be to approve Miron Construction.”

School board president David Czech said many Chippewa Falls taxpayers wanted as much of the work on the project being provided by local businesses and workers.

“There have been public comments through board members about wanting local contractors,” Czech said. “Our job is to make sure we represent the taxpayers and we certainly encourage our contractors to use local materials, but once this is signed it is completely up to them.”

The remaining $15 million of the $65 building referendum will be used for technology upgrades, contingencies for anticipated added costs during the construction process and other aspects of improving the schools that are not included in the construction process up for bid.

Four contractors had submitted bids, including Howard Immell Construction and RJ Jurowski Construction, who submitted bids to build the new Stillson Elementary School (the project is estimated to cost about $22 million). The two other contractors, Market & Johnson and Miron Construction, both submitted bids for the entire project in addition to the three projects individually.

In early 2018, a $65 million referendum was approved with 53 percent of voter approval to build a new home for Stillson Elementary School, and making additions/improvements to the existing Chippewa Falls Senior High School and Middle School structures.

The building project includes a new 36-acre site in the town of Lafayette, a drastic upscale from the current six-acre site the current Stillson Elementary location is built upon. The 30-acre increase will yield more space for a parking lot, playground, athletic fields and more.

The need to build a new Stillson location came after reports of faulty plumbing and septic system problems. The building has been renovated at least five times throughout its life and was becoming practically unusable in a changing modern technological world. The current timeline for the new elementary school is to have it completed in time for the 2020-2021 school year.

The rest of the funds will be used at the middle and high schools. The middle school will use the allocated funds to remodel areas of the building, improve technology and other various improvements/repairs to the property. The high school will get a new science lab, improved technology and other various improvements to the building.

Updates on the building project will come at the next Chippewa Falls school board meeting on Tuesday, April 23.

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