The Brookfield Board of Education has entered a partnership with Ohio Edison to run electrical service to the track and soccer field on the school property.
Ohio Edison offered to pay 60 percent of the cost of installing a transformer, main wiring and a meter. In addition to its 40-percent share, the district also will pay for the costs of excavation and installing distribution lines.
The board on April 25 approved paying $21,000 to Ohio Edison for the school’s 40-percent share of the work, and hired electrical firm Becdel Controls of Niles for $74,000 for electrical work and Kirila Contractors Inc. of Brookfield for $49,580 for excavation.
School Treasurer Julie Sloan said she expected the companies would start ordering material as soon as they received notice of the approval.
The district has no immediate plans to install lights or otherwise tap the electricity that will be provided, but the project will give the school enough power for such projects, said Supt. Toby Gibson.
“There’ll be enough power there for anything and everything we want to do,” Sloan said.
The board members questioned Gibson and Sloan on how Becdel and Kirila were chosen.
Officials said they did not have to advertise for bids because the project fell within a loophole to the state law governing competitive bidding. The law requires competitive bidding if the improvement is to a school building.
School officials also deemed the project an emergency because of supply issues, Sloan said
School officials asked Becdel and Kirila to give proposals, she said.
“It’s not required to be bid, but we did reach out (to another company) because we didn’t know if the prices were high or low, and we found out that they were low,” Sloan said.
A second firm that could perform both the excavation and electrical work tendered a proposal that was twice as high as the combined Becdel-Kirila prices, she said.
Ohio Edison proposed the project to school officials, Gibson said. Sloan called the offer “a very good opportunity” because it relieved the district of some of the cost.